I’ve had a bee in my bonnet for a while now about ‘sustainable fishing’. As a vegetarian (who only turned veggie after years of ignoring the evidence and chomping my way through more than my fair share of cows, chickens, pigs, and fish) my personal belief is that there needs to be a ban on commercial fishing. We are dangerously close to the collapse of whole species – and before we forget it, there is a whole ecosystem of other predators like dolphins, sharks, tuna, albatrosses, auks, penguins etc that will suffer far greater hardships than us not having sea bass for supper.
Non-veggies understandably disagree – and say that eco-labelling and sustainability measures will return fish ‘stocks’ (and what a nasty word that is – a whole world of wildlife seen only in terms of value to fishermen) to something resembling…well, that’s another question isn’t it: pre-trawling levels, pre 4 or 5 billion people on the planet levels, pre the collapse of Cod and near extinction of the Bluefin Tuna levels? Whichever it is, the problem is that even if fish ‘stocks’ are targeted to return to ‘sustainable’ levels, everyone has to accept the rules on catch quotas and work towards them.
Nobody does though, and as the article below more or less implies (and is stated in clearer terms in many other articles on the net), every fishing fleet in Europe is fiddling the books to ensure that they can catch as much possible before the fish simply run out…Which is as simple-minded surely as a major nation state pulling out of an agreement like Kyoto saying it will ‘cost the economy’ without working out how much it will take to fix the same economy when climate change completely scrambles up everything they currently hold dear…
The EU Court of Auditors today published a report damning costly failures to eliminate overfishing in Europe. The report found that the multi-billion euro European Fisheries Fund designed to balance fishing activities at sustainable levels is actually doing the reverse. Loopholes mean that fleet owners are receiving subsidies to increase the capacity and fishing power of their vessels, adding to fleet overcapacity. A small fraction of the money available for scrapping is being used as intended, with most being spent on vessels that are old or no longer active.