European Officials Attempt to Combat Overfishing

The European Union has recently made a new petition to remake their previous environmental laws related to overfishing. While many public officials consider it as a big deal, it can definitely be said that the plan is not ambitious enough. As of now the current policy is a disaster and many people have felt very upset. According to European Union data, 80 percent of Mediterranean fish stocks and 47 percent of Atlantic stocks have been overfished. This year parliament has tried to reach a deal to combat this issue but until now all the efforts had not been effective but recently the relationship between the fisheries and the government has gotten much better. Specific limits have been made on the amount of fish that can be taken out of the water and if everything goes to plan overfishing is supposed to stop by 2015, with a “five-year grace period for exceptional cases.” However there are many critics of the new plan and they seem to have a very good point. Sergi Tudela, head of the fisheries program of the environmental group “WWF Mediterranean”, said the language in the agreement meant that it might be “100 years before some stocks recovered to sustainable levels.” This shows that much of this new policy is mostly for show and before this is hailed as a breakthrough change there must be proven results. The positive aspects about this is that at least Europe is recognizing the problem but to really make a difference in the environment stricter policies must be made even if they go in discord with many of the people’s wishes. Although it is a good first step for Europe there is still much to be wished for conservation organizations.

Alejandro Martinez-Oletta

Tragedy of the Commons

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/business/energy-environment/europe-moves-to-overhaul-fishing-policies.html?_r=0

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