Depletion of fish stocks reaching irreversible levels, Sant tells plenary

Sant: nonsensical that measures intended to safeguard and rebuild fish stocks appear to serve industrial fishing interests that are source of the stock depletion

Labour Alfred Sant has expressed concerns over Mediterranean fish stocks in a sitting at the European Parliament on the protection of fisheries.

“Depletion of some stocks has been reaching irreversible levels,” Sant told the Strasbourg plenary.

He explained the significant danger that biodiversity was in and recommended “immediate corrective action” be taken.

But he also said that despite the required corrective action, the fisheries industry should not be undermined, and called for further clarification on which sectors will get priority.

The plenary was debating and voting on a report by Italian MEP Raffaele Stancanelli (ECR) about the conservation of fish stocks in the Mediterranean.

The report highlights that the EY common fisheries policy should be designed in a way that strikes a balance between economic, environmental, and social sustainability. “Fish consumption has reached a new high in terms of kilograms per capita per year, further evidence that fishing is a strategically important economic and commercial sector whose survival must be guaranteed and protected at all costs so that it can meet the needs of an ever-growing population,” Stancanelli said.

Alfred Sant said it was nonsensical that the measures intended to safeguard and rebuild fish stocks instead appear to serve industrial fishing interests, “interests which are the source of the stock depletion in the first place.”

Sant emphasized that his future vote wound hinge upon the need for conservation and support for traditional fishermen who for “centuries constituted a vital pillar of the social fabric in the region.”

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This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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