Ending overfishing and the blind spend
In 2012 MEDASSET joined OCEAN2012, a coalition of organisations across Europe dedicated to transforming European fisheries policies to end overfishing, stop destructive fishing practices and deliver fair and equitable use of healthy fish stocks.
We encouraged leaders – namely the members of the European Parliament and EU Ministers – to make support a ground-breaking reform that will ensure healthy seas by 2020. We asked leaders to discontinue measures and subsidies that fuel overfishing and instead support investment in smarter instead of more fishing. Citizens played a major role in encouraging decision makers to bring about change. A large part of our campaign was dedicated to informing and educating the general public on the importance of sustainable fisheries. We created opportunities for citizens to have their say, through events or e-actions. Our ‘Paint a Fish’ activities educated youth and children, who took initiatives to address leaders with their own messages.
In 2014, a brand new fisheries policy came into force, placing the marine environment and sustainable livelihoods in the forefront. In summary, the campaign:
- secured a legally binding target to end EU overfishing by 2020
- defeated proposals for compulsory transferable fishing concessions (fishing quotas)
- ensured the inclusion of mitigation measures such as creation of marine protected areas, gradual elimination of wasteful discarding practices and reduction of bycatch of endangered species
- secured that access to fish stocks and funds is based on transparent, social and environmental criteria
- stopped subsidies for construction of new bigger fishing vessels
- ensured that more funds are available to improve scientific knowledge and combat illegal fishing
With the legal basis now in force, the ball is in the court of each national government to ambitiously implement the new policy and responsibly allocate the available funding to reshape national fisheries and stop destructive fishing! We aim to encourage, assist, monitor and act for the implementation of this policy in Mediterranean EU countries.