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MEP calls for urgent end to overfishing

July 13, 2011 5:09 PM

Lib Dem Fiona Hall has taken part in a demonstration of Euro-MPs today in support of changes to the Common Fisheries Policy.

Recent studies show Europe's fish stocks have been reduced to less than 10% of their post-war levels and experts warn that 91% of what is left is at risk in the next decade.

North East MEP Fiona is one of more than a third (268) of MEPs who have signed a public declaration supporting the introduction of sustainable fisheries policies and an end to overfishing.

Fiona Hall said:

"There will be vocal opposition to the proposals but we must hold firm. Our seas are capable of supporting many times more fish than now exist. It is not too late for the situation to be reversed, but we have now reached a crisis point.

"We must urgently put an end to overfishing and the practice of discards - where millions of dead fish are thrown back into the sea because of current quotas. We need a new approach which will protect both fish stocks and fishermen's livelihoods in the future.

"The reform package put forward by the Fisheries Commissioner today calls for decentralised and science-based fisheries managment by region and sea basin. It is important that local fishing communities will have a voice in this process.

"Bodies such as the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority are in a far better position to manage our fish stocks than civil servants in Brussels."