Our oceans have been put under severe pressure. They have been relentlessly over-exploited and over-fished. This harms the ability of the seas to sequester carbon emissions, and support life on the planet by regulating climate. It is disrupting the physics, chemistry and and ecology of the ocean with significant consequences for marine life.
Presenting the facts at a radio conference at the Brussels Press Club today (4th February) “Our Fish” and “Seas at Risk” argued that ending overfishing would be significant action on climate.
They called on the EU to ensure that their 2030 biodiversity strategy prioritises an end to destructive overfishing, and that maintaining healthy seas by putting an end to overfishing should be included in the EU Green Deal, climate law and national climate action plans.
The conference examined how healthier fish stocks could also contribute to a healthier marine environment and so the ocean’s capacity to cope with climate change.
The sustainability of fish stocks in UK waters will be a key issue to be debated in the future trade negotiations between the EU and the UK concerning the future fishing arrangements in UK waters. It is essential that fish are not treated as a trading commodity and that the important necessity to stop over-fishing is protected for environmental reasons, and as essential climate action.