UK ‘runs out of fish’ report highlights stock problems
UK FISH consumption in 2012 has already matched what our seas can supply for the year, leaving us reliant on imported cod and haddock for fish and chips, campaigners have warned.
Annual fish supplies from our seas can only satisfy demand for 233 days, so if the UK were to rely on its own fisheries for the year we would have run out of stocks at this point, a report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) calculated.
At least one in three fish consumed here is imported from outside the EU, the think-tank said, with the UK reliant on countries including Iceland, Norway and even China for most of our traditional “British” fish, such as cod and haddock.
But the NEF said if the UK’s seas were better managed to allow fish stocks to recover from overfishing, it could meet annual demand from its own waters and even be a net exporter.
The UK imports more than 101,000 tonnes of cod, worth £372 million, and 60,000 tonnes of haddock, worth £156 million, in a year, the majority of which comes from outside the EU, according to figures from 2010.
Campaigners are calling for reform of the European Union’s common fisheries policy. Ian Campbell, UK co-ordinator for Ocean2012, a coalition of environmental and community organisations, said: “Fishing within sustainable levels and adapting fish consumption to available resources is the only way to regain healthy fishing grounds.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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