Productive and healthy seas
The seas around European coasts are among our finest natural assets, home to some of the world’s greatest populations of seabirds. Despite recent improvements on paper, marine wildlife faces many threats. 88% of European stocks are overfished and thousands of seabirds continue to be caught and killed by European fishing boats. This gives a clear indication of the failure of current fisheries policy. Yet healthy seas, exploited sustainably, in a manner that is in tune with nature, would be rewarded with productive fish stocks and a greater resilience to climate change. MEPs need to engage in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy to be finalised by 2012.
• Demand urgent completion of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas in the marine environment in order to protect key areas for marine wildlife.
• Help drastically cut the size of the EU fishing fleet as there are too many boats for too few fish.
• Ensure the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is guided by the environmental objectives of the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
• Demand that the Commission legislates immediately to stop the slaughter of seabirds as by-catch. To work, this will need a robust system of data collection and control.
Our seas have long been forgotten, the time is right to ensure their conservation.
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