Fisheries

Originally conceived as a one-time fisheries buy-out to reduce fishing pressure, the California Central Coast Groundfish project in the United States has evolved into a long-term fisheries ‘buy-in’ for an environmental organisation that has invested considerable funds, time, and staff to help struggling fishermen and local communities while simultaneously improving a fishery and habitat. The project story presented here provides insights for possible engagement strategies in Europe.

Is a glass half full or half empty? That depends on the individual’s point of view and what he or she chooses to emphasise. Data on fisheries faces the same issue – it can be read in different ways depending on who is doing the reading.

The negotiations between the EU and Norway on the one hand and Iceland and the Faroes on the other hand over the fishing of mackerel stocks in the North Atlantic are deadlocked. An agreement on the allocation of the fishing quotas is not in sight. This unacceptable situation is a risk to the sustainability of the mackerel fishery and presents to the world an example which could hardly be worse. Despite years of negotiations, civilised European states still haven’t managed to solve a fisheries conflict to the satisfaction of both parties.

Fisheries management is evolving and there is growing awareness that resource users should be more involved in decision-making and should supply information about resource status if fisheries management is to become sustainable.

‘Sharing of common stock among nations’ was the topic chosen for the fourth ComFish Regional Participatory Stakeholder Event (RPSE) held in Santander, Spain, in May 2013. Aimed at tackling specific fisheries issues of the European Atlantic waters, such as those relating to species caught in the Bay of Biscay and along the Iberian Coast as well as in the Celtic Sea basins, the event brought together a variety of stakeholders from the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and the UK.

One of the main objectives of every European Union (EU) country is to manage biological resources sustainably to preserve the natural environment for present and future generations. The negative impact on biological variety caused by humanity can result in the deterioration of valuable natural resources, which are then replaced by less valuable species.

The long years of tenacious struggle over the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy came to a successful end when it was officially adopted after the European Parliament’s plenary session gave its full support in December last year. It is to usher in a fundamental change in Europe’s fisheries policy, prevent overexploitation of the seas, and make sustainability a basic principle in fisheries.

A small group of fishermen on the west coast of Denmark is finding innovative ways to maintain the viability of their fishery and make it attractive for younger generations to join the business.

Fifty years ago, the advent of the first barrels, drums and tubs made of plastic heralded the end of traditional wooden containers in the fish industry. Tubs and bins made of plastic are robust, hygienic and easy to clean. Today, they are to be found almost everywhere in the fish industry. They are used for storing fish, for the transport of live fish, during maturation of fish products, and as bins for collecting fish waste.

For centuries people have benefited from the wealth of the seas but today many worry that we are placing undue burdens on the marine ecosystems. This is not just about the overfishing of individual stocks but about where and how we catch fish. Criticism mainly centres around bottom trawls and the deep-sea fishery that allegedly cause severe damages to the marine environment and to fish stocks.

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