Now is the time to build a brighter future for our seas

havssula2.jpg(RSPB; Andy Hay; 13 March 2017)

The number of overfished stocks in the northeast Atlantic has dropped by a quarter in the last 10 years, but the latest data show close to half of all assessed stocks are still being overfished.
• Eight conservation organisations are today calling on governments to develop new fisheries law that puts sustainability at the heart of fisheries management enabling fish stocks to continue recovering.
• The organisations have published 10 principles for governments to follow to help build a brighter future for our seas, which include effective legislation that goes beyond current EU commitments, and the setting of sustainable fishing levels.
Conservationists are today calling on the UK and developed governments to work together as we prepare to leave the European Union to develop new fisheries law that will allow fish stocks to recover while putting our traditional fishing industries and coastal communities on a sustainable footing.
As an island nation our coastal communities and connection to the sea hold a special place in our cultural identity. Our seas are also home to or visited by an amazing variety of wildlife such as puffins, Minke whale, lesser sandeel and basking shark.
Over the last 10 years progress has been made on reducing overfishing in the northeast Atlantic and adjacent waters. In this period the number of assessed stocks being overfished dropped by over a quarter. However, the latest official information confirms that 47% of assessed stocks are still being overfished, which doesn’t just impact on the profitability of our fisheries but also the food supplies and habitats that support other marine life.