De Europese Groenen vragen een meer beperkte vangst op
Strong measures needed to protect cod stocks
"Cod are in such desperate conditions across EU waters that a recovery plan is needed more than ever," said Swedish Green MEP Inger Schörling today in the European Parliament during the debate on the Stihler report on a proposal for a recovery plan.
In 2001, the European Commission first proposed a cod recovery plan. Despite the fact that the Council specifically requested the proposal, no agreement has yet been reached. Yet the condition of cod stocks is as bad as ever, as reported on Monday by ICES, the body responsible for giving scientific advice for fish stocks to the EU.
Inger Schörling, author of the opinion of the Environment Committee, said:
"Commissioner Fischler and the Council claim that the Common Fisheries Policy has been put on a sustainable basis at last, following the reforms of last December. I challenge the Parliament and Council to adopt the cod recovery plan, as it offers the best way forward on the path to recovery of the stocks. Only the recovery of the stocks can ensure that our many coastal communities would have a viable, long-term future."
"My original proposal in the Environment Committee was to extend the plan to include the Baltic Sea, as cod stocks there are also in a very bad way. That was not accepted and it is a major short-coming. A decision was made earlier this month by the IBSFC, an international organisation that manages fisheries in the Baltic Sea, to ignore once again the scientific advice and set the quota for cod in the Baltic far too high – 45% above the recommended level."
"It is just this type of political decision to set excessive quotas that has led to such depleted fish stocks. ICES has recommended, once again, that there be no fishing of cod in 2004, and we also challenge the Commission and Council to follow that advice."
In January 2003, the Commission denied the right of Sweden to impose a moratorium on cod fishing by Swedish fishermen, thus obliging Sweden to fish on depleted stocks.