Scientists are unaware of the state of nearly two-thirds of Europe’s fish stocks and do not have enough information to assess the exact scale of the crisis the European fishing industry is facing, says the European Commission.
This is naturally alarming, since the commission last month admitted that nothing short of a completely new fisheries management system based on scientific evidence could stop the downward spiral of years of dangerously depleted fish stocks and get the struggling European fishing industry back on its feet.
The European Commission is now proposing smaller annual EU fish catch quotas and have given governments and industry representatives until the end of July to submit their views.
“The contribution of EU fisheries to the European economy and food supply is far smaller today than it was in the past. Even more worryingly, the status of some 59 per cent of stocks is unknown to scientists, largely due to inaccurate catch reporting,” the European Commission says in an official statement.
The policy has not been reformed since 2002 and the European Commission admits there has been “slow progress” in stock recovery, since quotas consistently have been set at unsustainably high levels.