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End Overfishing: 100,000 EU Citizens Sign Petition

29 February 2012

EU - As WWF’s ‘More Fish’ petition is about to reach 100,000 signatures, WWF tells Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in a presentation to the petitions committee that they need to end overfishing and save Europe’s seas and fishing industry from decline.

Given that 75 per cent of assessed EU fish stocks are overexploited and the EU is losing approximately €3 billion per year in potential income from a failure to manage fisheries sustainably, the time is now for the European Parliament to ensure that the on-going reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) turns Europe’s fisheries management around.

Jesús Raúl Navarro Serrano, a young Spaniard who travelled to Brussels to voice the concern of the tens of thousands of citizens who have so far signed the ‘More Fish’ Petition said: “Studying to be a marine biologist I don’t want to be out of a job because all marine life will have been destroyed. I don’t want to have to tell my children that there was a time when fish were plentiful, people fished in a traditional way and ate fresh seafood. This is as much about saving our traditions and cultural heritage as it is about saving fish. I call on MEPs to make sure that the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy offers a sustainable future for fish and fishing in Europe.”

The European Commission proposal was sent to the European Parliament for review and adoption last summer and will be intensely debated in the coming months. WWF’s EU wide More Fish Petition will be handed over in September ahead of an important plenary vote on the CFP reform (currently scheduled for 12 September 2012). The ‘More Fish’ Petition asks the President and Members of the European Parliament to:

  • stop the top-down and short-term management by ensuring fisheries are managed regionally, under long-term plans that result in the recovery of marine ecosystems and fish stocks;
  • stop the waste by implementing a coherent set of rules so that fishermen only catch what's needed when it's needed.
  • stop overfishing overseas by applying the same principles to all European boats wherever they operate in the world.

Anouk Delafortrie from WWF’s European Policy Office said: “Our goal is to have 500,000 citizens sign up by September and show MEPs that their constituents care about sustainable fisheries and hold them responsible for achieving this. If MEPs vote for the status quo we will fail to save Europe’s seas, fishing communities and fishing industry. But by demonstrating leadership in shaping a new and ambitious CFP they can ensure the recovery of fish stocks. And more fish if managed sustainably will lead to higher profits and better jobs.”

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