The Beacon

New Report: EU Taxpayers Fund Overfishing

Trawlers in the Mediterranean. © Oceana/Juan Cuetos

Oceana released a new report today outlining the shocking amount of subsidies that pour into Europe’s fishing industry. European taxpayers are essentially paying for overfishing – to the tune of 3.3 billion Euros ($4.6 billion) in 2009.

Here are some other stunning facts from the report:

  • Oceana’s analysis found that a total of at least €3.3 billion of subsidies were available to the European Union fishing sector in 2009. This is more than three times quoted public figures, which only reference the European Fisheries Fund.
  • Total subsidies to the fishing sector are equivalent to 50 percent of the value of the total fish catch by the European Union in the same year ( €6.6 billion)
  • Spain, France, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Italy received the most fishing subsidies. 
  • 13 European Union countries had more fishing subsidies than the value of the landings of fish in their ports.
  • Europe is one of the world’s top three subsidizers, along with China and Japan.
  • As a result of these major subsidies, the European Union now has a fishing fleet that is two to three times larger than what is needed to fish sustainably.
  • More than two-thirds of these subsidies have the ability to enhance fishing capacity and promote overfishing.

Check out the full report and pass it on!

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