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EU Fleets Deployed to Rescue Cod and Tuna

by Ellen Hardy
8 August 2008, at 1:00am

EU - European Union countries have this week launched joint sea patrols in the fight against over-fishing of endangered species.

According to News Online, in February, five ships backed by surveillance aircraft set sail in the Baltic Sea. They were on a mission to stop the over-fishing of cod, once plentiful in the icy waters, but now fast disappearing.

Over two weeks, inspectors from Denmark, Poland, Lithuania and Sweden made 112 surprise visits boarding boats at sea and checking them as they came ashore. Ten violations were detected, mainly for under-reporting of catch.

The operation was organised by the EU Fisheries Control Agency, which enlists EU countries in joint efforts to stop illegal fishing. The agency was set up in 2005 out of concern that quotas on catches and other rules were not uniformly enforced. It has an annual budget of 5m and about 50 staff, reports New Online.

So far the agency has coordinated around 20 such missions, mainly in the Baltic and North seas. But those arent the only waters where it has been busy. While inspectors scoured the Baltic in February, the Jean Charcot, a French patrol vessel chartered by the agency, battled back-to-back storms to monitor boats in the Northwest Atlantic.

Ellen Hardy