WWF: subsidies destroying industry
[PlanetArk] GENEVA – European Union subsidies totalling 1.4 billion euros a year will doom the fishing industry unless halted soon, the conservation body WWF-International said.
“A once-in-10-years chance…to remedy the situation is being resisted by Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, Ireland and Greece,” said Simon Cripps of the group’s Endangered Seas Programme.
The six countries argued that slashing catch quotas and redirecting subsidies toward reducing fleet sizes and increasing safety on remaining boats would harm fishermen, he said.
But Cripps warned that failure to reform would further harm the industry. Fish stocks have plummeted in EU waters over the past 30 years because of overfishing.
The cycle is all too familar: resource is over-harvested (as are all major fisheries worldwide, not just Europe’s); beleaguered industry cries for help; government provides subsidy; industry invests in “productivity” (ie, more capacity); resource is further over-harvested; etc; etc. So much for free markets.