Saturday, January 22, 2005

They can’t all be wrong

The management of the fisheries in EU member state waters has long been known as disastrous, and recent world fisheries data now confirms this. While world production of fish increased between 1995 and 2002 by 17 percent, production in the EU fell by the same amount – 17 percent.

Nearly all member states reported falls in production during that period – the largest by Denmark at 28 percent, reflecting the collapse of the North Sea sandeel fishery due to overfishing.

Within the European Economic Area, Norway recorded and increase in production of 490,000 tons, or 17 percent, while Iceland managed a 520,000 ton increase, or 32 percent.

For sure, some of the world’s fisheries are under stress, but despite the messages of doom and gloom from the greenies, there are plenty of examples of healthy, sustainable fisheries, not least in Norway and Iceland.

Elsewhere in the world, fisheries off the east coast of the United States, on the Canadian Grand Banks, and in places as far distant as Namibia, New Zealand and the Falklands, are all being managed sustainably.

Given that these fisheries are all delivering health increases in fish production, they cannot all be wrong. Once more, therefore, when it is possible to measure the performance of the EU, it is found wanting.

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