The Beacon

Oceana Supports Recent European Commission Moves to End Overfishing

Early morning trawling vessels in the Mediterranean. (Photo: Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

The European Commission (EC) recently announced that ten Member States will be penalized for exceeding fishing quotas in 2013. Oceana supports the deductions in order to reverse the damage done to overfished stocks, and denounces the Member States’ failure to emplace sound control measures.

“At least 49 stocks of 29 species have been overfished during 2013. Unfortunately, we are not talking about a single event, but rather a widespread behavior, that in many cases is carried out by the same Member States and affects the same stocks year after year,” Oceana in Europe executive director Xavier Pastor said in a news release. “What is the use of setting catch limits if there is no real will to control them? Clearly this is not the way to phase out overfishing in European waters, a greater commitment by the Member States is necessary.”

Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom are the EU Member States that exceeded their limit that affected 49 fish stocks. They will all be penalized with a deduction of 23,463 tons from their 2014 quota.

These deductions aren’t the only way that the EC is cracking down on illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Earlier this month, South Korea, Ghana, and Curaçao were given six months to improve efforts to stop IUU fishing in their waters. The time limit comes after these three nations were given “yellow cards” back in 2013 that served as a warning that they needed to cooperate in stopping IUU fishing, or risk facing trade sanctions.


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