EU outlines plan to end overfishing

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The European Commission on Wednesday outlined an ambitious plan to limit overfishing and encourage sustainable fishing practices.

Proposed by Commissioner Maria Damanaki of Greece, the plan involves reducing the size of Europe’s fishing fleet, currently ranked third largest in the world after China and Peru.

The plan also calls for countries to individually set trading quotas for fishermen with the stipulation that those who choose to leave the industry can sell their quotas to the highest bidder. 

According to Ms Damanaki, the goal is to nurture fishing stocks to levels where they deliver a maximum sustainable yield by 2015. The Danish fishing industry works under a similar system, Ms Damanki told news agency AFP. Over the course of four years, its fleet has been reduced by 30 percent and contributed to a healthy fishing sector in Australia, New Zealand and Norway.

As it stands, 75 percent of European stocks are overfished. “If it’s business as usual, in ten years only eight out of 136 stocks will be healthy,” Ms Damanaki told AFP. “My job is to find a balance so we can fish in the future, so our children will have fish.”

The plan awaits approval from EU member states and the European Parliament. 

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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