European Fishing

· What should be the conservation policy for the future?
· How to organize the control of the various fishing activities in the best possible way?
· How to respond to the economic difficulties of the fishing sector?
· How to involve the media more involved in the decision-making process?
· What role should the European Union play in the international arena?

At the beginning of this millennium, Europe faces a serious decline in some of the world’s most important fish stocks, overcapacity and a steady decline in employment in fisheries. We are in the presence of the failure of the economy as a science that seeks the best allocation of resources to meet the needs of men. The increase of discomfort in all spheres of human life in European Union, has dropped into a pit economic proposals based on naive faith. This is due to beliefs that economists themselves have been preoccupied with constructing throughout history, trying to construct a coherent and logical conceptual body. This set of ideas has built instruments that serve the economy to validate itself, but which contribute little or nothing to the desired goal of achieving sustainable development and well-being of the population. One of the fundamental criticisms of the fishing economy from the perspective of environmental problems, which is part of a widely held consensus, is that depletion of fishery resources is not considered as depreciation, understood as consumption of natural capital. In this millennium the community must adopt a new approach towards the economic management of the fishing sector.

Fishing Activities in Europe

Control of fishing activities is insufficient and discriminatory.

European fisheries are at risk, says the International Council for the Exploitation of the Sea (ICES). The population of the schools is no longer within the biological safety limits. The situation is particularly pressing given the fact that the species is facing serious threats. First, the current intensity of catches threatens the sustainability of fisheries. For example, with a price of 600 euros a kilo of eel, it is clear that they generate a commercial greed that could lead to the rapid and complete exhaustion of the current population. Seventy per cent of the annual turnover of professional fishermen on the Basque coast, for example, comes from eels, even though this type of fishing is practiced only for five months a year, from November to March. Secondly, human activity has important impacts on the life cycle of the fish, which has to suffer from the degradation of water quality, the fragmentation of its habitat and the obstruction of its migrations, mainly caused by hydroelectric dams. In addition this migratory fish has now been weakened by Anguilli cola crassus, a parasite inherited unfortunately from the Japanese eel.
The situation of the cod and hake stocks, the North Sea and the west of Scotland from the Skagerrah strait to the Bay of Biscay is on the verge of collapse. The two species are caught in association with other species, complicating recovery measures by taking into account the activities of other fisheries.

Fishing in France

Fishing in France

Fishing in Norway

Fishing in Norway

Fishing in Spain

Fishing in Spain

The schools of Anchoa or bocarte are depleted as a result of the fishing competition between Spain and France. In 1965 80,000 tons of anchovy were fished in the north (Golfo Vizcaya) in the 1990s, about 30,000 were on average, from 2002 to 2004 they were 10,000, and this year 2005 the season ended with 200 tons. The bocarte, which in the world only occurs in the Cadiz area, has a very short life between 3 and 4 years, and also suffers fluctuations due to failures in recruitment, ie new born specimens that survive and are incorporated into the population.

The situation of small pelagic stocks (herring, sprat, mackerel, anchovy, sardine) and species subject to industrial fishing (Norway pout, sandeel) in general has not deteriorated in the last twenty years. The bluefin tuna population is clearly overexploited. Benthic resources (Norway lobster, flatfish) are subject to general economic overexploitation.