Liberal Democrat MEP, and Chair of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee, Chris Davies, has called for legal sanctions to EU Member States who are not complying with current fishing regulations.
Speaking at a WWF event today, Davies praised the improvements made by the Common Fisheries Policy over the past decade, with the vast majority of fish stocks. Is judged to be sustainable.
However, the Lib Dem MEP for the North West also called on the Commission to be rigorous in applying legal sanctions to ensure that Marine Protected Areas are managed properly.
Speaking at the launch of a new report by WWF in Brussels today, Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies said:
"Every maritime nation in Europe should by now have 10% of its seas designated as marine protected areas and we are ahead of target.
"But this report reveals that governments have failed to introduced management plans so less than 2% is being safeguarded in reality.
"It's a case of out of sight, out of mind. What goes on beneath the surface of the seas simply is not being given proper attention.
"Marine Protected Areas ensure the survival of precious biodiversity and provide a nursery for fish, helping the fishing industry by providing more fish and bigger fish to fill their nets.
"Far too many countries have declared areas protected but introduced no management plans to ensure that they are. Sadly, it is often a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'.
"Today's report marks the start of a campaign to start managing those areas properly. That will be good for the environment and good for the fishing industry,"