Overfishing of our oceans must be stopped in order to restore marine ecosystems. This is the message that associations are bringing to politicians and to the general public on the holiday island of Sylt (northern Germany) on August 21. The event takes place as part of the European Fish weeks, organized by the OCEAN2012 coalition, of which Slow Food is part.
Slow Food Germany, together with the Protestant Church Development Service (EED), the Lighthouse Foundation, Fairoceans and OCEAN2012 are inviting regional representatives of the European parliament to Sylt for a discussion on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
On the same day, a human chain in the shape of a fish will be formed on the beach at Kampen (Sylt) as a sign of support to sustainable fishing. A fish soup will be cooked and served, with fish playing the exquisite supporting role in the dish. All parts of the fish will be used for the fresh fish stock and nothing will be wasted – this, too, underlining the importance of fish as a food resource.
In an accompanying panel discussion, Ursula Hudson (Slow Food Germany), Dr. Nina Wolff (OCEAN2012), Francisco Mari (EED), Jens Ambsdorf (Lighthouse Foundation) and John King (Söl’ring Hof restaurant, Sylt) will join MEPs to discuss the reform efforts on the EU fisheries policy and the precarious situation of fish stocks worldwide.
Stop over-fishing! Public action day on Sylt island
Date: August 21, 2012
Location: 25999 Kampen (Sylt), main beach Kampen
Time: 2.30 pm
Overexploitation of the sea
One third of the observed fish stocks in the North Atlantic and adjacent waters are overfished. Popular species such as bluefin tuna, North Atlantic cod, salmon and swordfish are seriously threatened in some regions.
The discarding of unwanted fish is a tragedy for the environment and a tremendous waste of food. Nearly 30 million tons of commercially unattractive species of fish and marine life are caught alongside the desired species every year and thrown back into the sea dead or dying. Industrial fishing methods and regularly overestimated quotas have led to the overfishing of our oceans and the degradation of marine ecosystems.
Coastal communities and small fishers are threatened with the loss of their traditional way of life and livelihoods. In many countries, especially in the global south, fish is one of the most important sources of protein for the population and the second most important traded commodity after oil. Competition with industrial fishing fleets from EU and other countries as well as the growing export of coveted fish products to the global north are a danger to food security and the local economy.
Demand for sustainable, regional fisheries
For these reasons Slow Food Germany is urging politicians to bring about the end of overfishing. Conservation and restoration of fish stocks and marine ecosystems around the world must be a political priority.
The new Common Fisheries Policy of the EU needs to strengthen sustainable, small-scale fishing for local markest and end destructive fishing methods. Responsible coastal fishing contributes to the conservation of local ecosystems and strengthens the regional economy. Therefore, non-industrial fishing must be granted favoured access to fishing both in Europe as well as in developing countries.
To find out more, visit
Slow Food Germany www.slowfood.de
Or find out more about Slow Food’s campaign for sustainable fishing: