On the 3rd of May FishAct took part in an event in Bremen to highlight the Fish Dependence Day 2018, which falls on the 4th of May in Germany. During this public event fisheries scientists, policy experts and NGO experts from 8 different institutes and organization discussed the future of fisheries in the EU.
The Fish Dependence Day was created by the New Economics Foundation: Based on a member state or region’s total annual fish consumption, the fish dependence day is the date on the calendar when it will begin relying on fish from elsewhere because its domestic supplies have been depleted.
Despite recent progress to rebuild fish stocks in European waters, approximately 40% of EU stocks remain overfished. The result is that while the EU produces 11kg of fish per capita annually (2016), this domestic supply falls short of the 23kg of fish consumption per capita in the EU. The EU has been able to maintain this high level of consumption by sourcing seafood from other regions of the world through imports and the catches of its distant-water fleet.
The EU’s fish dependence day in 2018 is the 9th of July, meaning that the EU relies on foreign resources for almost half of its fish consumption. This dependence – while showing signs of stabilisation – has increased since 2000 and the impact of aquaculture in reducing this trend is limited. Certain member states, such as Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, and Germany, reach their fish dependence days much earlier than this, despite their significant access to EU waters.
As a consequence, to meet EU demand, many of the costs of EU fisheries mismanagement and historical overfishing are being exported, with direct impact on the fish stocks of non-EU countries. Change is desperately needed if we are to break this pattern – the EU needs to focus efforts on restoring its own marine ecosystems and to ensure that its consumption is not at the expense of fish stocks in other parts of the globe.
Check out the full report here: FISH-DEPENDENCE-18.pdf