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Portugal Dependent on Fish from Outside EU

3 April 2012, at 1:00am

PORTUGAL - According to a report released by the New Economics Foundation (nef) and OCEAN2012, Portugal is one of the countries in the European Union (EU) that is most dependent on fish imports from outside the EU to meet its consumption needs.

Domestic consumption of fish is higher than the Portuguese fleet can fish within the EU, which makes the country dependent on imports of fish from non-EU countries, reports OCEAN2012.

March 30, 2012, is marked as Portugal's 'Day of Fish Dependence Fish'. This date corresponds to the day from which a country ceases to be self-sufficient for the fish it consumes.

In 2011, the date was 26 April (26 days later than this year).

Portugal thus has less capacity to meet its consumption needs and is therefore much more dependent on non-EU catches to provide three quarters of its consumption.

"Portugal is top of the European Union in terms of fish consumed per capita. The Portuguese consume three times more fish than the European average. It's a shame that this appetite for fish is not as voracious as the desire to ensure that there will be fish in the future," said the nef/OCEAN2012 co-author of the report, Aniol Esteban.

"This report points out that if people want to eat fish sustainably, political leaders should define and implement a policy of responsible fishing. The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is an opportunity to reverse this situation and to end overfishing, and not limit ourselves to export it to other parts of the globe," argued Goncalo Carvalho, the Sciaena - Association of Science and Cooperation and the OCEAN2012.

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