Unless of course if your a fish.
EU ministers are meeting to set fishing quotas for 2007 amid renewed calls for a total ban on catching cod. The European Commission has recommended a 25% cut in cod and North Sea herring catches, lower plaice and sole quotas, and a six-month ban on anchovy fishing.
Scientists warned earlier this year that only a total ban on cod fishing would enable stocks to recover.
Environmentalists have urged ministers to listen to the warnings and "change course" on fisheries policies. - BBC
Then again, there is going to be a harmed party, the fishermen, and they will fight to protect their livelihood, even if it may result in the long-term death of their industry.
However, European Commission spokeswoman Mireille Thom told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that it was also important to consider the fishing industry.
"Obviously ending fishing... on cod would be most likely to give results, but we don't live in an ideal world," she said.
"We have a fishing industry in Europe and the EU is committed to ensuring the future of that industry and therefore the approach that has been chosen so far is a gradual approach, trying to balance the need to protect and rebuild the cod stocks and allow a degree of activity for the fishing fleet." - BBC
This would kill the fishing industry now, which is not acceptable to member EU States. In an ideal world, the fishermen would be compensated for their loss by some sort of payment or subsidy but this is the European Union, which would not give away money like that. (They need to save all the money for farm subsidies.) Instead, they will make some token gestures simply because the current situation requires that they do something and hope that their inaction will somehow be rewarded and prevent the death of the fishing industry, with the death of the fishing grounds.
UK Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw has called the commission's recommendations for a 25% cut "drastic", adding that he did not believe any European states would support the proposal.
Ross Finnie, Scotland's fisheries minister, added: "We have trimmed back so much, you get to a point where if you go too far you simply plunge the fleet into a non-viable position." - BBC
An opportunity to spare the endangered cod was squandered by EU fisheries ministers yesterday after a tactical blunder by Joe Borg, the fisheries commissioner.Instead of setting a zero quota for cod, as scientists urged because of the risk of stock collapse, fisheries ministers decided to cut North Sea cod catches by 14 per cent, from 23,205 tons to 19,957 tons, at their annual talks in Brussels.The most heated part of the discussions were about restrictions on days at sea — which experts say are the most effective way of controlling fishing effort – for whitefish boats and the small-mesh prawn fleet which kills cod as a "by-catch".Ministers were astonished to find when they got to Brussels that Mr Borg had concluded a side-deal with the Netherlands, allowing the Dutch beam-trawl fleet a reduction of only eight per cent in its days at sea. Other ministers promptly demanded the same concession for their fleets — whatever they catch. (Comment: Of course they did. I am surprised that they didn't give cod fishing fleets MORE time at sea, because it is now harder to catch cod.)Ministers then agreed to cut the days at sea for the cod fleet by between seven and 10 per cent, rather than the 15 per cent that Britain and some other member states had been prepared for.A source close to the discussions said: "We were gobsmacked when we realized Borg had offered the Dutch this deal. They are the worst on by-catch of other species and on killing undersized plaice." - Telegraph, UK
Tax the Fish
One approach to protect the cod was not mentioned in any of the discussions. That would be to put a high tax on cod fish. Somewhat along the lines of how the EU is discussing the taxing of products to cover the true global warming 'cost' to the environment. How much would the demand for cod be if it cost the end consumer 13 British pounds/19 Euros/$25 dollars a pound.