Greenpeace petition seeks to stop EU subsidization of illegal fishing operations

Saturday, November 12, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: illegal fishing, Greenpeace, health news

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(NaturalNews) A Greenpeace investigation has revealed that the European Union (EU) is actively subsidizing fishing operations in Spain and other places that are massively overfishing, and that have a history of bypassing regulatory protocols designed to protect fish stocks -- and the European authority is subsidizing this travesty with the use of taxpayer funds.

Much of the ocean waters around the European coastline, as well those in other areas of the world, are being overfished so badly that stocks of commonly-consumed fish are at risk of being depleted. According to Greenpeace, up to 80 percent of the world's fish stocks are now at "dangerously low levels," because much of the fishing industry is failing to fish sustainably (

To make matters worse, EU subsidy funds are actually being used to support fishing companies that have a reputation for failing to uphold proper ocean management and stewardship practices. According to a UK Independent report, one Spanish fishing company whose crews had been caught fishing without licenses and bypassing proper regulatory protocols was awarded 15 million Euros between 2002 and 2009 (

Such illicit fishing activity is not limited to simply Spain or Europe, either. Greenpeace alleges that "up to 49 per cent of the global catch is illegal, unreported and unregulated, and this is one of the main reasons why our fisheries are in such rapid decline."

When it comes to the fishing industry, common sense regulatory guidelines are necessary to prevent entire fish populations from going extinct. Companies that focus solely on their bottom lines and give no thought to proper ocean stewardship end up devastating entire ocean ecosystems -- the collective fishing industry, in other words, could eventually deplete most or all of the ocean's fish stocks apart from some type of meaningful regulation.

Greenpeace has put together a short video that explains this dire situation in very simple terms. The group has also created a petition to Richard Benyon, Fisheries Minister at the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that demands a full investigation into the more than one billion Euros worth of subsidies that have been given to the Spanish fishing industry thus far.

You can watch the video and sign the petition here:

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