Cllr Janet Finch-Saunders AM is encouraging people in Aberconwy to join her in signing an online petition calling for reform of Europe’s fishing policy, under which fishermen are currently throwing dead fish back into the sea.
Janet has signed the WWF ‘More Fish’ petition, urging the EU to end overfishing, stop wasteful practices and protect marine wildlife.
“To protect fish stocks, the fishing industry and marine wildlife we need to reform Europe’s fishing policy and end this terrible situation where fish are wasted. Aberconwy has a beautiful coastline, and I hope that my constituents will join me in getting behind this WWF campaign by taking a minute to sign the online petition.”
People can support the campaign by visiting the petition website: bit.ly/walesmorefish
Over 70% of assessed fish stocks in European waters are overexploited and a number of iconic fish species such as the Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna are on the brink of collapse. There are simply too many boats chasing too few fish and the policy that has led to this situation is currently up for review.
WWF has put forward a set of solutions to the current problems. These include long term management plans for all commercial fisheries to help rebuild fish stocks and allow ecosystems to recover; regional management of fisheries in different parts of Europe to replace the current ‘one size fits all’ approach; and supply chain policies to ensure that fishermen catch what’s needed, avoiding waste and adding value.
The issue of discards also been highlighted by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with his Channel 4 series ‘Hugh’s Fish Fight’.
Dr Iwan Ball, Head of Marine Policy at WWF Cymru, said:
“We’re delighted that Janet is supporting our More Fish campaign. The current system is crazy – we’re seeing fishermen forced to waste fish, even while they struggle to keep their businesses profitable. Iconic species are disappearing and communities which depend on the fishing industry are being run down.
“Discards are a wasteful and environmentally damaging practice. However, to protect the marine environment and create healthy sustainable fish stocks, any steps to end discards must go hand-in-hand with action to identify more selective ways to fish
“We have broad support for our proposals - fishermen, fish processors and retailers are backing our ideas. We really need more people in Aberconwy to show their support by signing our petition.”
Top Welsh chef Bryn Williams, Proprietor of Odette’s Restaurant & Bar, is also supporting ‘More Fish’.
He said: “I’m in full support of the ‘More Fish’ campaign. I’ve always been taught the importance of managing the land and about our responsibility to the earth and I have always applied the same principles to the sea. And it’s not just the fisherman that can make a difference; everyone can do their bit to help sustain our seafood, by varying the types of fish that they eat.”