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Conservation bodies say fish quotas for 2013 still miss the mark
Published:  20 December, 2012

Greenpeace and Oceanaare critical of last night’s deal on EU fish quotas for 2013, as they say it allows more fish to be caught than is sustainable.

 “On Tuesday, the European Parliament showed its determination to end decades of unsustainable fishing by the EU’s oversized fishing fleets.

"This morning’s deal, December 20, on quotas for 2013 shows that the Council of fisheries ministers has also finally understood that steps towards sustainable fisheries will require a level of discipline in setting fishing quotas. But their measures remain too timid, with many quotas still set above the recommended levels” said Saskia Richartz, Greenpeace EU fisheries policy director.

 “Science must form the basis of decision making on quotas by the council, as it now will for the Parliament. Short-term vision and the industrial fisheries lobby must not dictate a result that will endanger the long-term health of our seas.”

This year, scientists have expressed particular concerns about overfishing of fish stocks around Ireland, including the Irish Sea, North West of Scotland and in the wider Atlantic waters West of Ireland.

For instance, they have warned that there should be no fishing at all for herring West of Scotland and Ireland, no fishing for sole in the Irish Sea and 50% cut for most haddock stocks in the waters of the North East Atlantic.

Oceana in a preliminary assessment of fisheries minister’s agreement describes the decisions adopted as contradictory and regrets 'another missed opportunity to end the overexploitation of European fisheries resources'.

"Now more than ever, decision makers have the tools they need to responsibly manage the stocks, but unfortunately it seems that they do not want to use them,” stated Xavier Pastor, Executive Director at Oceana in Europe. “Although we are moving in the right direction in many cases greater effort is needed to end overfishing. By ignoring 48% of the scientific advice, the quotas can hardly ensure sustainability nor can they guarantee reaching the MSY objective.”

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