Significant steps made for the future of Mediterranean fisheries but efforts need to continue, says WWF | WWF

Significant steps made for the future of Mediterranean fisheries but efforts need to continue, says WWF

Posted on
19 December 2012

With around 75% of Mediterranean fish stocks considered to be overfished, the vote yesterday by the European Parliament's fisheries (PECH) committee was crucial. WWF Mediterranean is extremely happy with a number of points that are key for the sustainable future of fisheries in the region and decisions which, if confirmed in the plenary vote in early 2013, could have an immediate positive impact on Mare Nostrum.

According to the vote yesterday, all fish stocks in Europe, including in the Mediterranean, will be managed in such a way as to ensure fish populations recover to above levels that are capable of producing the maximum sustainable yield by 2020 at the latest. In addition, the PECH Committee adopted an amendment obliging EU Member States to establish multiannual plans for all fish stocks within 4 years from the entering into force of the new CFP.

This means in the near future overfished species like red mullet and hake would benefit from recovery plans similar to the one currently implemented for bluefin tuna”, said Dr Sergi Tudela, Head of Fisheries, WWF-Mediterranean.

A measure particularly important for Mediterranean fisheries, supported by the PECH Committee, is the obligation for Member States to establish co-management committees which include all relevant stakeholders to manage fisheries within national waters, as part of the new policy on regionalization. This gives fishermen and civil society a say in fisheries management.

“The current success of the pioneering co-management committee of the Catalan sand eel fishery, with a very active WWF involvement, shows this formula is the right participative approach to ensure the sustainable management of Mediterranean fisheries”, said Dr Sergi Tudela.
Yesterday’s vote provides great hope for the future of fisheries resources in the Mediterranean, but it is only a very first step. WWF calls on all the Members of EU Parliament to endorse the strong commitment of the PECH committee by supporting these measures in the final vote in Plenary early next year. WWF also calls on the Council of the EU to support this expression of democratic will from European citizens. “When we talk about the immediate future of our children and ourselves, we are talking about the next 10 years. Wrong decisions will mean no more fish for current and future generations”, concluded Tudela.