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European fish week launch. (Photo: Ocean2012.eu)

European Fish Week, World Oceans Day inspire activism

WORLDWIDE
Wednesday, June 08, 2011, 03:50 (GMT + 9)

OCEAN2012’s European Fish Week is in full swing from 4-12 June. The organisation is focusing on telling the European Union (EU) fisheries ministers that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform should focus on restoring fish stocks.

Fish week will include an emphasis on historic references such as music, poems, paintings and photographs regarding the health of the seas.

“By reminding ourselves of how living with the sea used to be, we can better understand the present extent of overfishing and how we can play a part in ending it through an effective reform of the CFP,” Uta Bellion, OCEAN2012 coordinator said.

“When this happens, we need to make sure fisheries ministers get the message loud and clear,” OCEAN2012 said.

Fish Week activities and events by OCEAN2012 members will be directed at fisheries ministers. The group is urging the masses to pressure their fisheries ministers by getting involved in local events.

OCEAN2012 reports that during last year’s European Fish Week, more than 20 events were organised by member groups in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain. 

This year, more than 28,500 people have signed the petition launched at the start of European Fish Week asking EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki to push for environmental sustainability as the overarching principle of the future CFP. 

The celebration also envelops World Oceans Day (WOD) on 8 June, when activists worldwide celebrate and honor the ocean. WOD encourages children and adults both to learn about the rich diversity proliferating in the planet’s waters to improve our understanding of how our daily lives affect the natural environment of aquatic animals and ecosystems.

Celebrating WOD is supposed to encourage higher involvement and better conservation efforts. The theme this year is "Youth: the next wave of change," with the aim of getting young people to adopt ways to contribute toward the protection of the oceans as a way of life.

WOD organizers have invented the Seven C’s Pledge, a short list of simple conservation steps the lay audience can implement daily to contribute toward environmental goals. Those steps include commitment to making a difference, conserving, consuming consciously, communicating interests and concerns, challenging oneself daily and connecting to one’s community, reports Green Answers.

Sri Lanka’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne applauded WOD and said he intends to expand the country’s waters set aside for conservation, reports Ceylon Daily News.

“I plan to increase that area considerably for the future conservation and re-generation of our ocean resources, to match or even surpass the corresponding ratio of protected areas on land which is close to 17 per cent of the total land area,” he stated.

Related articles:

- 'The Story of the Golden Fish' - a warning about destructive fishing practices
- World Oceans Day to be celebrated  

By Natalia Real
[email protected]
www.fis.com


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