Sunday, 12 August 2012

Overfishing pupils...

Horse Mackerel catches 1950 to 2009 in the Atlantic
(from Wikipedia)
Overfishing is a serious threat for most marine ecosystems.  In its most general form, overfishing means that humans take out more fish and other organisms from the oceans (and freshwaters) than the affected ecosystems can regenerate. As a result, the more one fishes, the less can be harvested. Persistent overfishing may lead to the disappearance (entirely or at least commercially) of a formerly abundant resource (from Mundus Maris).

Industrial fishing in the North Atlantic and its adjacent seas, as authorized by the Member States of the European Union, is accused to hinder recovery of fish stocks. The allowed fishing quotas are too high. Thus, enforcing respect of these quotas is a must. At 1. August 2012 the European Commission took a step to do so. Quotas for 2012 were reduced for Member States having over-fished in 2011.  Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "Nobody should harbour illusions that overfishing will be tolerated. The rules which exist should apply to all in a systematic and professional manner. Indeed I intend to use deductions to help achieve the main goal of the Common Fisheries Policy: long-term sustainability of Europe's fisheries." 

Horse Mackerel tracked where fished
Reduction of 71 quotas for 2012 were specified; up to 11,624 tons and that for Spain having over-fished Horse mackerel in the coastal sea north of Spain. Total quota reduction for Spain is more than 14,000 tons. However this is little compared to the total Spanish catches of marine fish that exceed 1 Million tons. Nevertheless, Denmark, with quota reduction of 82 tons and global fish catch of 1,2 Million tons seems to be the better pupil in the class  - the rules for the class aren't very demanding.

On consumers to-do-list: insist to get informed where the fish was caught, insist to get fish that had chance to reproduce,  insist on enforcing of existing regulation, and insist to set regulation in a precautionary manner so that fish stock can recover.

p.s. Horse Mackerel should have exceed 24 cm length so that it could have reproduced.

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