Why does the CFP need fixing?
Europe’s fishing grounds are the largest in the world and were once amongst the most productive. But after 40 years of unsustainable fishing under the CFP, European fish stocks have been seriously depleted. Today, over 70% of fish stocks are overfished.
The CFP favours the most powerful parts of the fishing industry, with the highest environmental impact. Many boats using unsustainable, often destructive, methods have been awarded fishing rights (quota) and have received billions in taxpayer subsidies. This has resulted in companies building bigger boats, capable of catching even more fish. This fleet is so powerful that it can catch 2 to 3 times more fish than the ocean can handle.
What’s the solution?
Sustainable fishing. Over three quarters of the boats in the UK fleet are under ten metres and the majority of these use sustainable methods of catching fish. The small-scale fleet also contributes 65% of full time employment at sea, and generates many other jobs on shore. They are also part of the cultural fabric of coastal communities. However, in the UK, our government has provided the small scale fleet with only four percent of the fishing quota.
The new CFP must put an end to this environmentally damaging and unjust system. It must support sustainable, low-impact fisheries, including those in the small-scale fleet. If we are to salvage a future for our fish and our fishermen, the CFP must only award fishing rights to those who fish in the right way.
What do Greenpeace and sustainable fishermen want from the new CFP?
The new CFP should:
Give fishing rights to those who can clearly demonstrate environmental and social benefits, rewarding those who support local communities and look after their fisheries.
Stop using public money to bankroll destructive fishing practices both in Europe and around the world, and ensure that strict European rules apply equally to all European vessels wherever they fish.
Put the health of our seas and oceans, and the fish stocks they support, at the very heart of the CFP. The CFP must bring an end to needless discarding, match fishing effort to fish stocks and create a better tomorrow for those that fish sustainably.
What can I do?
Over the next year we will be campaigning hard and pushing for strong reform of the CFP. We will continue our work with small scale fishermen and members of the public and lobby politicians to ensure we get the reform that the CFP so desperately needs. Visit these pages again soon to find out how you can get involved.