European management future limit-less?

Currently, Common Fisheries Policy practice regulates fisheries through a mix of limits on catch and days at sea. In his remarks, Joe Borg, the EU fisheries commissioner, says fish stocks could be managed by just regulating fishing effort. Limiting days at sea instead of harvest quotas, he says, will enable fishermen to catch as much fish as they desire.

Furthermore, jettisoning quotas in favor of days at sea “can be a very effective way of reducing the environmental impact of fisheries, and in particular of discards,” Borg said.

Far be it from me to question the musings of our brothers across the pond. After all, they’ve clearly seen how well days-at-sea management has worked in New England.

But wouldn’t it be ironic that just as U.S. fisheries managers are establishing annual catch limits for American fisheries, the Europeans may, after using them for 25 years, be walking away from them?

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