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150,000 People Demand Better EU Fishing Laws

Sustainability Economics Politics +2 more

EU - WWF has presented 150,000 signatures to the European Parliament from citizens across Europe demanding healthy oceans and sustainable fishing practices.

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For decades, Europes Fisheries Ministers have made poor decisions that have sent Europes fish stocks and fishing industry into decline. Presently two out of three fish stocks in the EU are depleted and jobs as well as income and profits are in decline, states WWF.

This 150,000 strong petition, together with a further 30,000 citizens who wrote to MEPs last month, shows how much people want to see a change in fisheries management in the EU. Fisheries Ministers have failed to deliver and its now up to the Parliament to make it happen, said Roberto Ferrigno, Common Fisheries Policy Project Coordinator, WWF European Policy Office.

For the first time since the creation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in 1983, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have a real opportunity to correct 30 years of mismanagement by Fisheries Ministers through a newly applied co-decision procedure, which gives the European Parliament equal decision-making power with Ministers.

Faced with fierce lobbying from industrial fishing, Fisheries Ministers have already significantly watered down EU fisheries policy reform proposals," added Mr Ferrigno. The danger is that MEPs may cave in too.

Ulrike Rodust, MEP and Parliaments Rapporteur for the CFP, who accepted the petition signatures on behalf of Parliament and faces a challenge to persuade her colleagues to vote for strong reform, said: 150,000 demanding more sustainable fisheries and healthy oceans is a huge sign that people want their representatives in the European Parliament to fight for an ambitious fisheries reform.

WWF is calling on the European Parliament to lead the delivery of an ambitious reform. A vote for the status quo risks condemning Europes fishing communities to a bleak future. If managed sustainably, fisheries can recover and generate higher profits and better jobs.