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State of Europe's freshwater fish population

Recommendation 1128 (1990)

Parliamentary Assembly
See Doc. 6207, report of the Committee on Agriculture, Rapporteur : Mrs Anttila. Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 3 July 1990.
1. The Assembly is deeply concerned that almost half of the 393 registered fish species in European rivers and lakes are threatened with extinction, and that the freshwater aquatic ecosystem is in danger because of pollution, over-fishing and other human interventions (the building of dams etc.). It welcomes the Council of Europe's initiative to organise a European campaign on freshwater fish and their habitats in order to increase knowledge of and respect for the freshwater aquatic ecosystem.
2. The Assembly is aware of the importance of recreational fishing and of the fact that subsistence and commercial freshwater fisheries still are of importance for certain rural regions. It considers however that fishing practices should be employed which will reduce the suffering of fish.
3. Consequently, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite the governments of member states and the European Community, in co-operation with other European governments and the FAO's European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission :
a to work out a European policy framework for the conservation and restoration of the natural habitats of European fresh water fish and for the maintenance of healthy indigenous fish stocks in European rivers and lakes. This framework must include policy measures which will avoid water pollution and other negative effects on the aquatic fauna and ecosystem, and stop over-fishing including that of species constituting important food for other stocks. It must favour research in order to gain a better understanding of freshwater aquatic ecosystems, their restoration and management ;
b to promote better fishing ethics among anglers and professional fishermen and make the practice of fishing subject to a certification of the basic understanding of the aquatic ecosystem.
4. The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers, with regard to the freshwater aquatic fauna and ecosystem :
4.1 strengthen the implementation of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats ;
4.2 include the protection of fish in hatcheries and fish farms in its work on animal welfare.