BRUSSELS, April 23 (UPI) -- The European Commission says its fishing policy needs to be changed as the current system has only resulted in overfishing.
The international group said in a document that overfishing in apparent in 88 percent of the European Union's fish stocks and 30 percent are currently exceeding biological limits considered safe, the EU Observer reported Thursday.
"Most of our problems stem from overcapacity," Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg said.
"It is a decisive moment for EU fisheries," he added. "We have time, but we have to get things right."
The current commission system has EU members distributing fishing quotas to domestic fleets. The commission said in Wednesday's document that system should be changed so quotas are given to individual fishermen, but then can be sold or transferred by those individuals.
Euronews.net said Borg has called on all involved parties to help develop a new fishing system that can address the problematic issues.
"It is through this consultation that we hope to address issues which are very relevant, for example, how to reduce capacity, how to eliminate discarding of fish, how to involve and 'responsibilize' the fishermen themselves even more, through results-based management," he said.