The Beacon: Alex Bea's blog
Rainbow colored tropical fish, jumping dolphins, and incredible sea turtles are often what comes to mind when thinking of the oceans. The deep sea, dark and less colorful, but possibly even more awe-inspiring, can sometimes be ignored since it is so far below our world. That may be why, in the European Union (EU), the main regulation to manage fisheries occurring in this fragile world have not been updated since 2002.
If you know new information is coming about a dangerous practice, you should wait to get that information before deciding what to do, right? This is exactly what today's Washington Post editorial calls for, and they're right.
Yesterday, Michael LeVine, Pacific Senior Council, Oceana, testified on the “Offshore Energy and Jobs Act” (H.R. 2231) in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the Committee on Natural Resources. H.R. 2231 would force the Secretary of the Interior to offer lease sales in vast areas of U.S. ocean waters, including the U.S. Arctic Ocean, where Shell’s 2012 exploration attempt resulted in a season of mishaps and near-disasters.
As we wrote about last week, the EU has taken some major steps toward a strong Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). That could mean less overfishing, better protection for endangered species, and an overall healthier ocean. Just a day after that agreement was reached, it seems that the CFP principles are set up for their first test.
Big news out of Oceana Europe today! Given that the EU is one of the 10 governing bodies that controls a majority of the world's fisheries, it's a big damn deal whether they manage their fisheries well. With so many countries weighing in, reaching a good Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is no simple task. As of today, they have taken a huge step toward that goal.
Early this morning, May 30, the European Parliament and Fisheries Council reached a political agreement on the main elements of the updated CFP. The key elements are that the future CFP will:
- Ensure that stocks are rebuilt above levels which can produce the Maximum Sustainable Yield
- Ban discards
- Generally transition the fishing industry into fishing much more sustainably
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