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‘Save the fish!’ says Sharon Bowles MEP

May 11, 2011 12:03 PM

Sharon Bowles MEP, who represents South East England at the European Parliament, is backing plans for changes toEurope's fisheries policy.

The MEP wants to ensure that there are more fish in the sea and more secure jobs for fishermen.

Up to 80% of fisheries are being managed unsustainably according to the European Commission, and major policy reforms are to be proposed later this year.

EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, has announced that she wants a science-led approach and intends to try and ban the wasteful practice of discarding fish into the sea, dead, when quotas have been exceeded.

Fisheries management will be transferred fromBrusselsto regional organisations involving local fishermen, food companies and environmentalists.

Sharon Bowles MEP says thatEurope's seas are capable of supporting many more fish than now exist, but overfishing is a major threat:

"I have spoken to fishermen in the South East many times about sustainable fishing, quota allocation, and the impact of over-fishing on local and regional stocks.

"The simple fact is that there are too many boats chasing too few fish. If we fail to take action we risk depleting stocks to such an extent that future generations will not be able to enjoy the fish we currently take for granted."

A tough political fight is expected, although the extent of the opposition to be overcome will only become known when the European Commission publishes the details of its plans.

ENDS

Note to Editors:

Please find attached a photo of Sharon Bowles MEP with Chairman of the Hastings Fishermen's Protection Society, Paul Joy