Demand that European Fleets Stop Deep Sea Overfishing

fisheries patrol

Target: Advisory Committee in Fisheries and Aquaculture

Goal: End the overfishing affecting populations of vulnerable deep sea fish

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was enacted by the European Union in order to organize its various countries, using collaborative planning with the public goal of maintaining a sustainable European fishing industry. Among the features of this policy are: the aforementioned mission of sustainability through control over the size of fleets, restriction of overfishing through quotas, and management of tools and methods so as not to damage the environment itself.

Perhaps the second most important feature is the affording of tools for the enforcement of these rules. While the policy includes many more aspects, it is these two essential ones which are currently being violated.

The deep-sea variety of fish are late breeders whose growth cycle is slower than those found above 400 metres. As a result, the overfishing which has been cited in recent reports poses a great threat. Fishing data says that fleets have been exceeding quotas for over half of the deep-sea fish they catch since 2002, with many bringing in 28 times more than their limit.

Some species of fish have already been decimated, and this trend will continue if the policy rules are not enforced, along with adequate record-keeping which currently gives limited data on the number of these fish caught and the techniques being used by the industry.

Recent years have only seen increases in the depth to which the industry goes to catch these fish, showing a failure of the fisheries policies to implement and enforce sustainability goals. The Common Fisheries Policy must see serious reform if various species of the ocean’s deep-sea fish are to survive for future generations. They are extremely vulnerable, and it is at the hands of the very industry who claims to be conscious of their protection that they are seeing the most damage from.

Demand that the members of the Advisory Committee in Fisheries and Aquaculture take this matter into continued consideration and move for significant changes to the ways in which rules against overfishing can be enforced and violations punished.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Advisory Committee in Fisheries and Aquaculture,

As of late, the The Common Fisheries Policy has seen extreme inadequacy in terms of actually ensuring the sustainability which it touts as its goal. Recent reports have exposed extreme amounts of over-fishing, particularly within the populations of vulnerable deep-sea fish. Over half of the deep-sea fish quotes are being exceeded, with as much as 28 times the legal amount being brought in.

It is necessary that the CFP go through a serious overhaul which actually enforces the limits set down by policy and forbids fishers from going beyond a specific sea depth. Moreover, the enforcement of these rules must be made to include legitimate punishments for those who violate said limits on fishing.

Failure to do so will result in an ever-worsening problem for the ocean at large, as certain species of fish have already been irreversibly affected. More populations will continue to be lost unless something is done now. Please give this matter the attention it deserves.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bob Simpson

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