In parliament >> Fish need sex!

15th July 2011

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Natural resources ,
  • Food and drink ,
  • EU ,
  • Ecosystems ,
  • Agriculture



Chris Davies, Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson in the European Parliament, welcomes the new EU fisheries commissers moves to reform the common fisheries policy.

Out of sight, beneath the surface of the waters, a massive exercise in environmental destruction has been going on. Fish stocks are in many cases down by 90% compared with their numbers a century ago.

Modern, large vessels equipped with the latest tracking technology hunt down what remains. Too often the fish they catch have not even had a chance to breed. Still more often, they may be discarded, dead, because they are of little commercial value or landing them would exceed the permitted quotas.

The new EU fisheries commissioner, Maria Damanaki, is a gutsy Greek woman who fought the army dictators in her country and is prepared to fight anyone who gets in the way of the radical policy reforms she has proposed. She says things that some do not like to hear. Too many boats are chasing too few fish. Overfishing must cease.

Long-term plans based on good science must replace annual quotas. Discards must not be permitted.

Reform will cost jobs in the short term but if there are no fish there will be no fishing industry.She faces stiff opposition from the industry and from the governments they influence. Many will think her approach long overdue.

These are the reforms the EU must make, she says. If it does not make them, then there will be no fish left. She seems, at least, to have strong support from the UK government, and in the European Parliament the cross-party Fish for the Future Group.

The vicious circle of decline can be broken. Our seas are capable of supporting many times more fish than exist at present. Stock recoveries could be swift. If we get this reform right we could have more fish in the sea and more jobs for fishermen. But first the fish that remain must be given a chance to live, and to reproduce.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Fifth of UK food firms unprepared for deforestation regulation

One in five UK food businesses are not prepared for EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) coming into force in December, a new survey has uncovered.

16th May 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Dr Julie Riggs issues a call to arms to tackle a modern-day human tragedy

15th March 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

Campaign group Wild Justice has accused the UK government of trying to relax pollution rules for housebuilders “through the backdoor”.

14th February 2024

Read more

Digital tracking, packaging data delays and new collections provide a waste focus for this edition’s environmental round-up by legislation expert Neil Howe

28th November 2023

Read more

Environmental crimes could result in prison sentences of up to 10 years and company fines of 5% of turnover under a proposed EU law agreed by the European parliament and council.

21st November 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close