More than 200 civil society groups today sent a letter to each of the 27 EU fisheries ministers, urging them to support the European Parliament’s aim to end overfishing by 2015.
The European Parliament and Council recently entered the final negotiations (trilogues) on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). One of the institutions is now under more pressure from NGOs than the other.
“Two hundred & seventeen civil society groups have reminded ministers that ending overfishing is a legal obligation for the EU and that it makes economic, social, and environmental sense. We are calling on EU fisheries ministers to follow the example of Australia, New Zealand, and the United States and agree to a policy that will allow fish stocks to recover to sustainable levels without delay,” said Uta Bellion of Pew and OCEAN2012, two of the organisations that signed the letter.
Support the EP
In the letter, NGOs urge ministers to support the European Parliament’s aim to restore fish stocks by 2020 and end overfishing by 2015.
“Without such an ambitious yet achievable objective for the recovery of fish stocks the CFP is a policy without purpose. We deeply deplore that Council rejected such a goal in its General Approach,” they write.
The organisations signing the letter include international organisations such as Greenpeace and Fish Fight, but also smaller environmental NGOs, restaurants and other groups from 28 countries.
Not the only letter
This is not the only letter circulating regarding the fisheries reform.
The European fishing industry organisation Europêche is critical to the European Parliament’s position and has previously circulated their position to European politicians.
Governments also do lobbying of their own. The Swedish environment minister recently sent a letter to other European environment ministers making a plea for sustainable CFP reform.