THE EU is continuing the history of “plundering the African continent,” by subsidising the fishing industry, according to a new documentary that exposes horrific ocean activity.
Netflix’s ‘Seaspiracy’ has left viewers shocked after filmmaker Ali Tabrizi uncovered the impact commercial fishing has on the world. Through a number of interviews with experts and activists, a sobering picture of the marine ecosystem is painted, including a claim that humanity faces “empty oceans” by 2048 if we continue to fish at the current rate. Under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the EU “aims to ensure that fishing and aquaculture are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable”.
But Mr Tabrizi claimed government incentives were playing a part in the sustainability problem.
He said: “A subsidy is taxpayer money given to an industry to keep the price of a product or a service artificially low.
“In an increasing number of countries, more money was going out than the value of fish coming back in.
“Subsidies were originally started as a means to ensure food security.
“But, ironically, they are now the cause of food insecurity in many developing regions.”
And the EU is said to be top of that list, with a fishing fleet of nearly 100,000 vessels.
Nonprofit ocean conservation organisation Oceana previously claimed that “despite the precarious condition of fisheries in Europe and beyond, the EU continues to provide massive subsidies to support its fishing fleets”.
They claimed Brussels was one of the world’s top three subsidisers, along with China and Japan.
And Sea Shepherd Captain Peter Hammarstedt said this has led to the EU “plundering” waters in developing countries.
He said: “Fishing by the EU in places like West Africa is driven by EU subsidies.
“That means local businesses can’t compete with the economic might of the EU.
“Really it’s just a continuation of a history of plundering the African continent.”
But Mr Tabrizi detailed how the EU was not the only one to blame.
He said: “These intensive fishing operations weren’t only wiping out the fish, they were also destroying the economy.
“In the US, up to one in every three wild imported fish had been caught illegally, and therefore sold illegally.
“Stolen, often from countries in most need, where there are now wars over the fish.
“One of the causes for the now infamous pirates of Somalia, now feared across the world, was actually illegal fishing.
“They were once humble fishermen working to feed their families, but when Somalia fell to civil war, foreign illegal fishing vessels invaded their waters and began taking fish.”
The Marine Stewardship Council, an independent non-profit organisation which “sets a standard for sustainable fishing” has hit back at the documentary over some of its claims, but stated there is a need to be more conscious with fishing.
A part of their statement reads: “While we disagree with much of what the Seaspiracy documentary-makers say, one thing we do agree with is that there is a crisis of overfishing in our oceans.
“However, millions around the world rely on seafood for their protein needs.
“With the global population set to reach 10 billion by 2050, the need to harness our natural resources more responsibly is more urgent than ever.
“Sustainable fishing has a vital role to play in securing those resources.”
Express.co.uk has launched a new campaign to help save Britain’s environment.
We have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to show world leadership on the issue in the run-up to the G7 summit in Cornwall in June and the crunch Cop 26 climate change summit in Glasgow in November.
Along with green entrepreneur Dale Vince we have told the Government to scrap VAT on green products and to make more space for nature.