The European Union has decided to continue subsidizing fishing at least until 2017.
The subsidies go mostly to Spain, France, Portugal, Germany, and the UK and are used to modernize existing ships or to take older vessels out of the fishing fleet. The subsidies are part of an overall push toward sustainability.
Most of the subsidies go to industrial fishing companies, rather than sustainable fishermen. The subsidies can be used to pay for ship scrapping, but there is no rule in place to prevent the vessel owner from investing that money in a new boat.
The EU’s fishing fleet is already able to fish two to three times the amount allowed. Improving the fishing capabilities of the fleet with taxpayer money seems a bit ridiculous.
Mackerel photo via Shutterstock