Paint a fish and help restore EU fish stocks for future generations
January 16, 2013 // By: Fernanda Balata
Two-thirds of EU fish stocks are currently overfished. This continued mismanagement means we are annually losing potential value of 1,800 million euros, money which could go towards supporting tens of thousands of much needed jobs.
For too long we have fished more fish than what the fish stock could give us and as a result we have depleted fish populations, damaged ecosystems and harmed coastal communities. The good news is that, for the first time in ten years, European leaders have a real opportunity to help restore our fish stocks.
By simply allowing EU stocks to grow to their maximum sustainable yield (MSY), we could guarantee better jobs for fishermen and a sustainable supply of fish for generations to come.
A key European Parliament vote for the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy is due next month. For the past few years, nef, OCEAN2012 and other NGOs have been working to ensure that this reform not only takes place, but that it goes in the right direction. Restoration of our fish stocks depends on how EU leaders will vote: they will decide whether we let fish stocks grow or not, and whether they grow quickly or slowly.
That is why we have been working on an innovative way to allow people from across Europe to engage in this process and call EU leaders to commit to restore fish stocks as quickly as biologically possible. Through the Paint a Fish campaign, anyone can add their support by painting a fish at www.paintafish.org.
The Paint a Fish campaign aims to educate and engage younger generations in the protection of fish stocks. Besides building a virtual fish stock with contributions from all over Europe, the campaign has also developed a set of educational resources to help teachers and schools in the UK plan lessons on sustainable fisheries.
We will continue to develop the campaign in the coming months, but ahead of this important vote, today’s joint e-action by nef, WWF and many other NGOs will allow everyone to send their fish paintings to their MEPs. The more fish pictures we collect, the bigger the stock and the louder our voice will be. Every fish counts!
Fish stocks belong to all of us. We must ensure a sustainable future for fisheries that protects and benefits people and the planet.
Paint a fish now at www.paintafish.org