Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 25 September 2009
Someone stop the Europeans before they fish again.
Once again, European fishing nations have thumbed their noses at experts who assert that without reining in landings, Atlantic bluefin stocks could be fished into extinction in European waters before 2015. This week, a call for a moratorium on international trade of the highly profitable bluefin was scuttled when six of the 27 European Union member states blocked the European Commission proposal.
Such shortsighted thinking is maddening. Apparently as long as they're raking in the euros for bluefin sales, these countries are happy to keep fishing until they kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
Of course this isn't news to American tuna fishermen. For years at International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas meetings, they've watched the Europeans disregard recommendations to lower tuna quotas in one breath and in the next chisel away at catch shares allotted to the United States — the country that may be the most committed to fishing sustainably. My guess is that in the process, the U.S. ICCAT delegation has single-handedly kept stock prices for Rolaids and Excedrin high.
We hear that European consumers demand that the seafood they purchase bear the seal of the Marine Stewardship Council or another certifying agent that assures buyers that a particular fish species is harvested in a sustainable matter. Isn't it ironic that European harvesters don't seem to share consumers' concern?
The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.
Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.
The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.Read more...