© WWF

Saving our Oceans

Europe’s fish stocks and fishing sector are in crisis, with two-thirds of assessed stocks being overfished. Transforming the way Europe manages its fisheries is critical in addressing dwindling stocks and protecting the marine environment for future generations.
This is why WWF will be focusing its efforts on the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), which is the first EU binding law designed to make a significant contribution to the preservation, protection and restoration of marine ecosystems, including pollution reduction and minimisation.

The directive aims at achieving good environmental status (GES) in the EU marine waters by 2020 at the latest and has the potential to be one of the most progressive pieces of marine legislation anywhere in the world.

WWF’s European Marine and Fisheries programme – which is currently being developed - will be embedded in the WWF global approach to marine and fisheries work. It is aiming at scaling up the work in Europe in order to address the major role Europe is playing globally in the trade and consumption of seafood (EU is the world's largest import market for fish products) as well as linking the CFP reform processes and current and future legislatory obligations regarding good ocean governance to the global picture.

WWF European Policy Office is working on the following areas:


  • Samantha Burgess

    Head, European Marine Policy

    WWF European Policy Office,

    +32 2 743 88 00

  • Sarah Fagnani

    EU Policy Officer (Maternity cover)

    WWF European Policy Office,

    +32 2 743 88 00

  • Eszter Hidas

    Policy Officer, Transparent Seas Project

    WWF European Policy Office,

    +32 2 761 04 25

  • Rita Santos

    Senior Marine & Fisheries Policy Officer

    WWF European Policy Office,

    +32 2 761 04 22

Succeeding in oceans governance

Working to stop illegal fishing

IUU fishing depletes fish stocks, damages marine ecosystems, puts legitimate fishers at an unfair disadvantage, and jeopardises the livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Read more about WWF's work on IUU

The Global Ocean—From Decline to Recovery

Global Oceans Commission Report From Decline to Recovery - A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean
"The Ocean is under threat, and humanity’s approach to it is uncontrolled. Benign neglect by the majority, and active abuse by the minority, have fuelled a cycle of decline.” (Global Oceans Commission report, June 2014)

Download the report (June 2014) 

EU fish facts & figures

	© naturepl.com / Doc White / WWF
    2/3 of Europe’s assessed fish stocks are overexploited
    Europe’s fishing fleet is estimated to be 2 to 3 times the size needed to catch the available resources
    The EU is the 4th largest producer of fish and aquaculture products in the world
    The North Sea yields only 1/5th of the cod, plaice and sole it did 25 years ago
    In the Mediterranean, over 90% of assessed stocks are overexploited
    60% of fish consumed within the EU is caught abroad


  • Healthy marine ecosystems supporting abundant fish stocks which in turn provide sustainable livelihoods for fishing industries and fisheries dependent communities around Europe and the world.