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
Enabling a plastic-free microplastic hunt: "Rocket" improves detection of very small particles
22.10.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Plant seeds survive machine washing - Dispersal of invasive plants with clothes
11.09.2018 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
A new building material developed at Empa is about to be launched on the market: "memory-steel" can not only be used to reinforce new, but also existing concrete structures. When the material is heated (one-time), prestressing occurs automatically. The Empa spin-off re-fer AG is now presenting the material with shape memory in a series of lectures.
So far, the steel reinforcements in concrete structures are mostly prestressed hydraulically. This re-quires ducts for guiding the tension cables, anchors for...
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...
Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles
Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.
We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...
Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...
23.10.2018 | Event News
17.10.2018 | Event News
16.10.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2018 | Information Technology
23.10.2018 | Life Sciences