Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Saving fish stocks – For a thorough reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

18.11.2011
In a statement published today, the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) supports a fundamental reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Prof Manfred Niekisch, member of the SRU, urgently warns: “Setting fisheries management on a track to sustainability requires a real change of course”. It is the EU’s responsibility to halt the overexploitation of fish stocks and destruction of marine habitats by fishing activities. The proposal for a CFP reform presented by the European Commission in July of this year is a step in the right direction, but in some areas the SRU sees a substantial need for corrections.

According to the SRU, the objective of the European fisheries policy should be to be able to manage the fish stocks on the highest possible or healthy level. This means that the stocks should be allowed to recover to a level which can produce the maximum sustainable yield. This would require abandoning a fisheries policy that only aims at avoiding the collapse of stocks. Such a sustainable fisheries policy would inevitably have to halt the overexploitation of the European fish stocks. Fishing quota should be set only on the basis of binding, scientifically-based limits which should be incorporated into the CFP Basic Regulation. The SRU also holds the view that fishing quota should be set taking into account the precautionary principle.

This implies that fishing quota should incorporate adequate safety margins which reflect the uncertainties surrounding the development of stocks. The SRU takes a positive view on the proposal of the European Commission to aim for stock levels which can produce the maximum sustainable yield. It is, however, unlikely that this level can simultaneously be attained for all stocks because of interdependencies between different populations. For this reason, it is necessary to complement this objective with percentage limits on the removal of stock biomass which cannot be exceeded under any circumstances.

Another unsolved problem next to overfishing is the high by-catch of juvenile fish and non-target species. A large share of these fishes is discarded overboard and dies, thereby being lost to the stocks and the ecosystem. Prof Karin Holm-Müller, member of the SRU, says: “By-catch which is dumped overboard undermines all efforts to achieve a sustainable fisheries management through fishing quota. This practice should be stopped immediately.” For this reason, the SRU welcomes the discard ban proposed by the European Commission. Contrary to the Commission’s proposal, this should not be limited to important commercial species but should apply to all species, not least in order to facilitate controls. Such a ban would be an important incentive for fishermen to adopt measures to reduce by-catch. In addition, the SRU considers it necessary to adopt further measures to protect marine ecosystems from fishing activities. This concerns not only technical requirements for environmentally friendly fishing techniques but also the thorough implementation of marine protected areas. The designation of marine protected areas is a necessary step but far from sufficient. Key is the appropriate management of those areas. An effective protection involves that these areas comprise zones in which human activities are generally not permitted.

A basic condition for the success of a reform of the CFP is the reduction of overcapacity in fishing fleets which is still supported by subsidies. Some countries, including Germany, have already significantly reduced their fishing fleets. Other fleets remain at a level which is too high for a sustainable management of fish stocks. The overcapacities create economic pressure to set fishing quotas at levels which are too high from an ecological point of view and lead to illegal fishing activities. They also contribute to an export of the problem of overfishing to countries outside the EU, for example in West Africa. This endangers the nourishment and livelihood of the coastal population in those countries. “It is necessary to set binding capacity limits for the individual fisheries”, emphasises Prof. Niekisch. The SRU takes the position that the limits set in the proposal by the European Commission are considerably too high to bring about an effective capacity reduction.

For further information, please contact Dr. Christian Hey
on +49 (0)30-26 36 96-0.
http://www.umweltrat.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/04_Stellungnahmen/2011_11_
Stellung_16_Fischbestaende.html
(The English version of the report will be available by end of January 2012).
The Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) was founded in 1971 to advise the German government. The Council is made up of seven university professors from a range of different environment-related disciplines. This ensures an encompassing and independent evaluation from a natural scientific and technical as well as from an economic, legal, and political science perspective. The Council has currently the following members:
Prof. Dr. Martin Faulstich (Chair), Technische Universität München
Prof. Dr. Heidi Foth (Vice Chair), Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Prof. Dr. Christian Calliess, Freie Universität Berlin
Prof. Dr. Olav Hohmeyer, Universität Flensburg
Prof. Dr. Karin Holm-Müller, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Prof. Dr. Manfred Niekisch, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt

Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs, Freie Universität Berlin

Christian Simon | idw
Further information:
http://www.umweltrat.de

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>