A conglomerate of nine NGOs has accused European Union governments of failing to ensure fish stocks are protected.
The groups claimed that more transparency is needed about how funds are used to prevent overfishing and how information is being suppressed without an adequate reason being provided.
The EU Fisheries Control Coalition of NGOs is pushing for environmental data to be made public and removing the power of individual governments to veto this step. This should create more transparency and allow the full effect of fishing to be disclosed to the public.
According to Steve Trent, the founder and CEO of the Environmental Justice Foundation:
“Keeping this veto power would be contrary to EU transparency rules around environmental information and citizens’ fundamental right to access documents. Only the European Parliament’s position, which received broad support from progressives and conservatives alike, matches the pressing need for transparency.”
“Ambition needs to be much higher to ensure transparency and safeguard European fisheries. The audits of national fisheries control systems by the European Commission are not public. If they were, parliamentarians as well as civil society could help identify and address persistent shortcomings in fisheries control. As a result, Member States like Spain and France, which the European Commission recently subjected to legal proceedings after its audits found failures with both countries’ fisheries control and enforcement, could potentially avoid costly infringement procedures. Based on the audits, NGOs, MPs and others could have raised the alarm and helped with solutions.”
Learn more at transparentfisheries.org.