A new study by the New Economics Foundation shows that ‘EU citizens are consuming far more fish than European seas can produce, becoming increasingly dependent on seafood from other waters’. The figure below shows fish catches in EU waters going down as imports go up. These imports include fish caught by EU vessels in other countries’ waters and in international waters. ‘If the EU were only to consume fish from its own waters, it would run out of fish on July 8th, making it wholly dependent on fish from elsewhere from July 9th’, says the report.
The EU has been able to satisfy growing demand for seafood only by exploiting fishing grounds elsewhere. Seafood demand is increasing worldwide, but the number of fishing grounds that are not overexploited keeps decreasing. Simple arithmetic suggests that global fisheries are not sustainable under the current management regime.
It’s time for some serious regulation, or fish and jobs in the fishing industry will continue to go away.