Saturday, March 02, 2013

Will EU Overfishing Finally Be Curtailed?

Australia has been called the lucky country often and for many and varied reasons.  On the world fishing scene we are a minnow, maybe a baby sardine - whatever, pretty small!

But strong efforts over recent years have reduced our fishing effort to encourage additional fish stocks in the region, and in the north ther eis a strong effort to protct Australia's sovereign fishing territory from outsiders and even local overfishing.

Europe has for many years been radically reducing their fishing stocks, even to the point where some fisheries have disappeared.  Fishing effort has increased, but still smaller numbers and smaller fish are being caught.

Getting agreement has been impossible among the EU nations not to mention the fact that some major fishing nations are operating but are outside the EU.

It seems that change is possible, and while tough there seems to be finally a realisationtha tunless radical steps are taken there will not be any fishery remaining - of almost any type- in a relatively few years.

A recent report here -

seems to finally offer some hope that the reforms needed to reduce fishing effort, eliminate or better manage by-catch, and put fishing on some sort of a program to be sustainable, might, just might get support.

It is not necessarily liked, but desperate measures seem to be needed to revive european fishing, otherwise there will be no commercial fishing within a few years.

Factual material about by-catch managment in Europe makes Australian northern fisheries management angelic in comparison,not to mention some of the great inventions developed locally in the NT to improve by catch managment, which seem to operate very effectively.

In Australia the fishery is not necessarily that bad [although previously at least one - the orange roughy fishery was nearly fished to extinction, until changes were made], but recent declarations of fishing exclusion zones around the continental areas of Australia have also been met with a harsh response from parts of the fishing industry here.  Yet there is reasonably strong evidence that exclusion zones can actually improve nearby areas as populations grow and spill over into areas outside the exclusion zones.  Yes, I have considerable sympathy for a few players who have been fishng responsibly and may have their livelihoods severely screwed up - they need to be assisted in some sort of transition.

BUT we must avoid the horrible demolition of fishstocks that has occurred in European waters over the past 50 years, and to start now to acheive a sustainable Australian fishery. 

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