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.