August 12, 2019
— Read post in Dutch —
More than 300 kilos of trash was cleaned from the North Sea beach between Egmond and Castricum aan Zee yesterday as part of the Boskalis Beach Cleanup Tour, a two-week event in which volunteers clean the entire Dutch coastline while educating about the effects of (plastic) pollution on ocean health. The Dutch Elasmobranch Society adopted a leg of the tour themed “sustainable fisheries”, hosting a social event at the day’s finish line.
In addition to cleaning up the beach from litter, much of which originates from fisheries and shipping, the day’s objective was to raise awareness about sustainable fisheries, and the importance of the upcoming political negotiations about fishing opportunities for the coming year. Despite a legal obligation of fisheries ministers to end overfishing in 2015, but 2020 at the latest, over 41% of the quota for European fish stocks are currently still set above scientific advice. There is an urgent need to end overfishing, not only to ensure the future of fisheries, but also to help restore and maintain marine health. Healthy fish stocks play a key role in keeping marine ecosystems balanced, and represent an investment in the future because they make the ocean more resilient to human-induced threats, such as climate change. This year marks the final chance for our country’s fishery representatives to honor their commitments, and lead by example.
The volunteering group of 130 cleaners was accompanied by Chancellor Mackerel; the fish ambassador who Tweets about life in the ocean, and fisheries, challenging European policymakers to choose sustainable fishing limits according to the best available scientific advice.
On the same day, the Good Fish Foundation adopted the southern leg of the cleanup tour with a sustainable fisheries theme. They addressed the issue from a market perspective by promoting their Good Fish Guide, which helps consumers make responsible choices in seafood. In concordance with this message, the NEV treated the volunteers of their tour leg to sustainable hors-d’oeuvres made from brown shrimp and crayfish.