Overfishing is a problem across the EU

Deutsche Welle
24 October, 2013

The European Parliament has voted against new subsidies for the fishing industry, opting to deliver funds to conservation research and the protection of fish stocks instead. Nina Wolf from OCEAN2012 is happy at the news.

The vote follows months of debate about a 6.5 billion euro fund which was earmarked for the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), an agreement which regulates how Europe’s waters are fished. While scientists and conservationists argued for curbing Europe’s fishing fleet size, coastal communities reliant on fishing say the new decision will financially ruin them. DW spoke to Nina Wolf, an organizer of OCEAN2012, for more information on the decision.

DW: The OCEAN2012 coalition, a group working to stop destructive fishing practices in the EU, is hopeful that the new measures will help tackle the problem of overfishing in European waters. What exactly does overfishing mean?

Nina Wolf: Overfishing means that we use the living resources of the sea in an excessive way. It means that we take more fish out of the ocean than populations of fish can actually reproduce. In principle, fish populations reproduce and maintain or increase in size naturally. Moderate fishing even stimulates this natural reproduction. However, when we catch too much of a fish population, its size will decrease, to the point that, in a worst case scenario, the fish stock collapses and is no longer able to sustain itself.

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