On 13 September, OCEAN2012, the pan-European campaign to stop overfishing in Europe, handed over 28,500 signatures to European Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, calling on her to prioritise the health of the marine environment in the reform of the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
“From all over Europe people are urging Commissioner Damanaki to conserve valuable marine habitats and ensure the economic vitality of vulnerable coastal communities,” said Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group's European Marine Programme and OCEAN2012 coordinator. “Putting the environment first means following scientific advice and imposing strict criteria on those seeking access to fisheries resources.”
OCEAN2012 is proposing that access to fishery resources be based on a set of transparent criteria for sustainable fishing, which must include:
- more selective fishing methods, gear and practices that reduce unintentional catches of non-target species and lessen the impact on the marine environment;
- Vessels and fishing methods that consume less energy per ton of fish caught;
- Working conditions that comply with relevant international standards, particularly the 2007 International Labour Organization Work in Fishing Convention.
Damanaki recognized the importance of the contribution of the OCEAN2012 campaign in attempts to move toward sustainable fishing practices. She also acknowledged the fact that drastic and immediate measures are required in the fisheries sector, as it is almost certain that if present practices continue unabated only eight out of the 136 European fish stocks will remain in a healthy state in ten years time.
For more information on the OCEAN2012 campaign see: http://www.ocean2012.eu
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Seven tenths of Earth is covered by water and the oceans belong to all of us. Every individual on Earth has a right to assume that the oceans are managed for the benefit of all those alive, their children and grandchildren – not on behalf of vested interests. If the biological diversity of the oceans is to be maintained or restored, large areas must be protected altogether from the commercial fishing industry and responsible fishing must prevail outside those areas. Every person on the planet can claim two hectares of ocean - that's what you get if you divide the surface area of ocean by the number of people on Earth. Claim your two hectares at: http://endoftheline.com/ocean/index.php?go=home.map