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14 Jan 2018 - EURONEWS - EU success shows how to achieve 2020 sustainable fishing targets, including SDG 14.4 to reduce overfishing and illegal, unreported and (IUU) fishing and SDG 14.6 related to harmful subsidies.embed

If you had a better seafood selection than usual this festive season it’s partly thanks to growing catches in Sweden and across Northern Europe. Small trawlers that used to harvest 20 tons of prawns and langoustines each year now catch twice that much, because fish and shellfish numbers are on the rise.

“Nowadays, we have a lot — humongous — of prawns,” says Swedish fisherman Johan Grahn. “And the fish stocks have improved as well.”

In the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic overfishing declined drastically over the last 10 years. Ten years ago only one in seven assessed stocks were fished sustainably the rest were overfished according to the EU’s Directorate-general for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. This year seven out of ten stocks are fished sustainably.

So how did the European Union make this happen? In part, by tackling the problem of fishermen dumping the unwanted fish. Around a quarter of catches used to be thrown back in the sea and most of those fish simply died. Now fishermen are changing how they work and their equipment to avoid catching fish that are too small or species they don’t want.

“No-one with some sense in their head want to drop good food just over the rail — it’s just silly,” says Grahn. “So after a while they figured it out, how to manage this. And it starts with something called landing obligation.”

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.euronews.com/2019/01/11/sustainable-fishing-is-2020-target-as-stricter-regulations-improve-stocks

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Publication date: 
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Publication Author: 
Denis Loctier
Thematic Area: 
Sustainable fisheries