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.
In short, the Mediterranean Sea is not in great shape at the moment. The European Commission released a statement that while the Atlantic fish stocks have been making a comeback and are only 39% overfished (still lousy), the Mediterranean is in a cycle of overexploitation with 88% of its fish stocks overfished. As Xavier Pastor, Oceana Executive Director, put it, "the stalemate of overexploitation in the Mediterranean is a disgrace."
The good CFP principles agreed to last week are just that–principles. They aren't yet hard and fast rules, which are exactly what we need to see now. According to Pastor, "The main instruments we have for recovering fish stocks are catch limits and effort restrictions. Setting these at sustainable levels will be the first test of the recent agreements reached under the CFP."
If the EU doesn't take bold action soon, the legendary Mediterranean Sea could lose out on much of the vibrancy that makes it great.
- Ocean Roundup: Deep Sea Sediments Act as Microplastic Sinks, Risso’s Dolphins Stranding in High Numbers, and More Posted Thu, December 18, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Task Force Releases Recommendations on Seafood Fraud, Sea Otters Critical to Healthy Marshes, and More Posted Tue, December 16, 2014
- Video: Drone Captures Amazing Humpback Whale Feeding Event on Camera Posted Thu, December 18, 2014
- Presidential Task Force Releases Bold Recommendations for Tackling Seafood Fraud and Illegal Fishing Posted Tue, December 16, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Chevron Withdraws Drilling Plans from the Arctic, Peru Issues Ban on Shrimp Fishing, and More Posted Fri, December 19, 2014