(NaturalNews) "Shut Down until Fish Stocks Recover," was the leading slogan of the 200 Greenpeace activists who blocked the building of the Council of the European Union on the morning of December 17, 2007. The EU fisheries ministers were about to have their annual meeting there, to discuss fishing quotas.
For years on a row now, Europe's Fisheries Ministers have ignored scientific advice and recommendations from the European Commission. The total allowable catches (TACs) adopted by the Council have been, on average, between 42% and 57% higher than those recommended by scientists. Only a mere three EU fish stocks out of 33 are managed in accordance to the maximum sustainable yield advised by the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002.
"The Fisheries Council has been an utter disaster for fisheries," said Greenpeace EU Marine Policy Advisor Saskia Richartz.
Incompetence on behalf of the Fisheries Ministers has caused an alarming decrease in European fish stocks ever since the early 1980s. Mostly due to the Ministers agreeing on "TACS that are higher than scientific and political recommendations", an alarming destruction of biodiversity in European seas has occurred. A recent study commissioned by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, concludes that about 80% of fishing stocks remain "outside safe biological limits", which creates a high-risk situation for both the stocks concerned and the fishing industry.
According to Greenpeace, future decisions concerning Europe's sea population should be more visible to the public. They strongly emphasize the need to create a network of large-scale marine reserves, consisting of highly protected areas where nature can run its course. Research suggests that 20 to 50% of the sea area should be protected like this. Finally, the total allowed catches must be set according to a standard backed up by scientific research and not arbitrarily decided upon, so it falls within safe biological limits.
We should start protecting and respecting nature. Not constantly plundering and killing all creatures that live on earth. These are things most people don't consider when buying meat or fish in the supermarket. If we want this planet to sustain us, we should start taking better care of it.
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