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Radical European fishing reform

EU has recently approved a major reform of EUs Common Fisheries Policy, which aims to end overfishing, ban discards and restrict catches to sustainable stock levels.

Feb 9th 2013/mj

Bycatch

It might not be directly fly-fishing related, but if you see the whole aquatic ecosystem as one, it is. Things in nature tend to be connected, and a better managed commercial fishing will most likely also lead to a better recreational fishing.

EU, or more precisely the European Parliament, has recently approved a major reform of EUs Common Fisheries Policy, which aims to end overfishing, ban discards and restrict catches to sustainable stock levels.
Apart from being the first time that the parliament has used their power to legislate with equal authority to the powerful European Council of Ministers, it's also a very important environmental decision, which will hopefully have major positive impact on the fish populations in European waters as well as secure more jobs in commercial fishing in the future.

Commercial fishing has been declining steadily, mainly due to overfishing, which is widely seen as the worst failure of the current European fisheries policy, dating from 2002. The European Commission's figures suggest that 80 percent of Mediterranean fish stocks and 47 percent of Atlantic stocks are overfished, and the dreaded discards fish thrown back into the ocean because they are of an unwanted species or size account for almost a quarter of total EU catches. Most of the discarded species die.

World Wildlife Foundation has stated that two thirds of assessed fish stocks are overfished. Iconic species like Mediterranean bluefin tuna and Atlantic cod have been overexploited for decades. 9 out of 10 stocks will be at unsustainable levels by 2022 if nothing happen, so it's truly in the 11th hour that EU takes action.

The new rules, which will deal with both overfishing and discarting, are supposed to take effect in 2014 and some observers expect fish stocks to recover already by 2020, enabling EU fishers to take 15 million tonnes more fish, creating 37,000 new jobs in the industry.

Almost too good to be true... more fish, more catches and more jobs.

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