On 25 April, MEP Caroline Roose and MEP Isabel Carvalhais co-chaired a conference of the RecFishing Forum on “More big fish in the sea! Questioning the MSY paradigm for a sustainable long-term marine fisheries management”. The conference report is now available.
During this event, two key
scientists provided paramount contributions to the discussion on highlighting
the limits of the current MSY paradigm and shedding light on its possible
Markus Lundgren, biologist,
and regional manager at Sportfiskarna (EAA Sweden), pointed out the limits of
the Maximum Sustainable Yield and advocated for the importance of long-term
sustainability of fish stocks. “The current situation is one of officially
sanctioned overfishing. As it is now, I am not sure about what the ‘S’ means in
‘MSY’ but I doubt that it can mean ‘sustainable’ “ Lundgren said.
Griffiths, from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, proposed
the consideration of an age-based indicator for fisheries management, the ABIMSY.
As Griffiths claimed, “we could potentially
catch the same number of fish and bigger fish in the long run, by
integrating an age-based indicator to the MSY and ensuring that stocks have the
age structure they need to sustain an advised level of catch”.
The two presentations were
followed by a very interesting discussion took place with the participation of Raluca
Ivanescu from the Directorate-General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG
MARE), Deputy Head of Unit, Marine Conservation and Fishing Opportunities in
the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Atlantic EU Waters, and Silvia Bartolini from
the Directorate General for Environment (DG ENV), Head of Unit C.2, Marine
Environment & Clean Water services. Stakeholders had the opportunity to
share their points of view with the European Commission, which is currently
undertaking an evaluation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, expected
to be finalised in the second quarter of 2024. In this discussion, Olivier
Portrat, CEO of EFTTA, reminded that anglers cannot be under-estimated
anymore, affirming that they should have their say in the policy-making
process. Fred Bloot, EAA President, underlined that a better fish stocks
structure would benefit to everyone.
MEP Isabel Carvalhais
gave the final words by calling for a more holistic approach to address
fisheries management issues.
the event report here