The Decline in North Sea Fish stocks between 1880 and 2010

We provide here our Briefing (pdf file) which records the severe decline that has taken place in most stocks of commercial fish species in the North Sea between 1880 and 2010. 1880 marks the advent of the introduction of steam powered fishing practices which have been further developed throughout the subsequent 120 years to result in our current intensive fishing practices, using sonar and many other technical improvements. As a result of the unrestrained use of these technical improvements the North Sea, in common with most other fishing grounds around the UK, is now a pale shadow of its former self in terms of the fish stocks which it contains, and as a consequence the overall UK marine ecosystem has become severely degraded. This Briefing has been produced to inform the public and, in particular, UK and EU parliamentarians and policy makers who are interested in and concerned with Reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. This Briefing records the historic levels of UK North sea fish stocks, and thus the targets that the regeneration of North Sea fish stocks should be linked to under the current reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and the implementation of the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive. (pdf file)


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