Party for the Animals: Ban over­fishing and EU subsidies of billions of euros for super-trawlers

3 דצמבר 2019

The Party for the Animals condemns the Dutch government's fishing policy. Research by nature conservation organisations has revealed that in almost half of the cases (48%) the Netherlands sets fishing quotas that exceed the sustainable limit set by scientists. This means that too many fish are caught on a structural basis and that fish populations are not able to recover.

Party for the Animals’ MEP Anja Hazekamp at the action held by Compassion in World Farming in the European Parliament, calling for awareness on the mass suffering of fish.

Party for the Animals’ MP Frank Wassenberg is calling the government to oppose to European fishing subsidies for super trawlers. These damaging subsidies of billions of euros are in breach of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreements and the United Nations sustainable development goals. The Party for the Animals also wants the government to abandon the exception to the by-catch reduction for cod.

“The Minister must immediately stop structural overfishing and put the marine ecosystem's health centre stage in the fishing policy,” according to Wassenberg. “The existence of fish populations in European waters is in serious jeopardy because of structural overfishing. Overfishing is a threat to the entire ecosystem because many other animals depend on fish for food. Additionally, vulnerable young fish, such as the highly endangered cod, but also sea mammals, sharks and rays are caught in nets.”

Negotiations between European fishery ministers will be held in December 2019 to determine how many fish the EU Member States will be allowed to catch in 2020. Previously, it was agreed within Europe that all fishing quotas should be at a sustainable fishing level by 1 January 2020 at the latest. The Dutch Minister responsible said several times that she agrees with the sustainability goal, but fails to act accordingly. The short-term economic interests of the sector continue to have the upper hand.

The Party for the Animals wants to know from the Minister what the consequences are if the Netherlands fails to meet this goal by 1 January 2020. She also needs to make a plan to buy out the fisheries sector and to abolish the European subsidies of billions of euros for super trawlers of Dutch companies among others. This will give the marine ecosystem a chance to recover, which is badly needed.