Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Slipped through the net: Europe misses by more than 30 years the international goal of rebuilding its fish stocks

Date:
January 21, 2010
Source:
Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR)
Summary:
At the Development Summit in Johannesburg in 2002, the European countries agreed to rebuild their fish stocks to levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield, no later than 2015. According to scientists of the Excellence Cluster "Future Ocean" in Kiel, Germany, that goal is already out of reach: Of 54 analysed stocks, only very fey stocks have sufficiently large size and are fished at a sustainable rate. The state of twelve stocks, including North Sea cod, plaice and halibut, is so bad that they can not recover sufficiently until 2015, even if all fishing would be halted.

Fishing for scientific purposes: Marine scientists during a fish stock assessment cruise.
Credit: IFM-GEOMAR

At the Development Summit in Johannesburg in 2002, the European countries agreed to rebuild their fish stocks to levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield, no later than 2015. According to scientists of the Excellence Cluster "Future Ocean," that goal is already out of reach: Of 54 analysed stocks, only saithe, western horse mackerel and Baltic sprat have a sufficiently large stock size and are fished at a sustainable rate. The state of 12 stocks, including North Sea cod, plaice and halibut, is so bad that they can not recover sufficiently until 2015, even if all fishing was halted. Other stocks could reach the target if fishing pressure was reduced substantially, but that has not happened so far.

These results were published by Dr. Rainer Froese, Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) und Prof. Dr. Alexander Proelß, Walter-Schücking-Institute of International Law of the University of Kiel, in the journal Fish and Fisheries. The German scientists, both members of the interdisciplinary Excellence Cluster "Future Ocean," point out that the continuous overfishing of European stocks constitutes a breach of the precautionary principle, which is a binding principle of Community law.

"The precautionary principle is a binding legal principle for the organs of the European Commission and for the Council of Ministers. The current practice of continuous overfishing violates international law as well as Community law," says Prof. Dr. Alexander Proelß, expert of international law at the Walter-Schücking-Institute.

The obligation to manage fish stocks such that they can produce the maximum sustainable yield is part of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982, which entered into force in 1994. In the "Johannesburg Plan of Implementation" (2002), the European Union as well as Norway, Russia and Iceland, agreed to rebuild their fish stocks to the level that can produce the maximum sustainable yield, no later than 2015. "Until now, the provisions of the Law of the Sea have not been introduced into national law, and the plan of implementation had no visible impact on European fisheries management," says Proelß.

On the contrary: the fishing quotas for 2010 decreed by the Council of Ministers again exceed by far the catches that would allow the rebuilding of the stocks. "If this practice continues, Europe will miss by more than 30 years the goal that it has propagated," says Dr. Rainer Froese, fisheries biologist at the Kiel Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR).

Yet, catches from sustainably managed stocks could be substantially higher. "Our analysis suggests that landings could be 79% higher if stocks had been managed according to the international agreements," says Froese. "However, in European waters stocks are intentionally managed such that they stay close to the brink of collapse. This policy makes no sense from an ecological or economic point of view."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Froese, R., and A. Proel. Rebuilding fish stocks no later than 2015: will Europe meet the deadline? Fish and Fisheries, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2009.00349.x

Cite This Page:

Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR). "Slipped through the net: Europe misses by more than 30 years the international goal of rebuilding its fish stocks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121155224.htm>.
Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR). (2010, January 21). Slipped through the net: Europe misses by more than 30 years the international goal of rebuilding its fish stocks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121155224.htm
Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR). "Slipped through the net: Europe misses by more than 30 years the international goal of rebuilding its fish stocks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121155224.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins