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
Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs, Freie Universität Berlin
Christian Simon | idw
Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta
Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences