Joint policy brief: EU taxpayer money must stop funding destructive fishing

Posted on 15 November 2021

Low-impact fishers of Europe, ClientEarth, BirdLife and WWF jointly call on EU Member States to stop funding destructive fishing with taxpayers’ money, but rather invest in low-impact fisheries and the restoration of the marine environment.
As EU Member States are currently rolling out plans for how to spend their share of the newly agreed  €6 billion European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) across the next seven years, the organisations are calling on governments to make the right choice for fishers, coastal communities, the marine environment, and the climate.

The briefing warns Member States and the EU against maintaining an old pattern that allows practices that harm the environment to be financially subsidised — namely, the most destructive fishing operations. It makes 15 recommendations to ensure a fair, ambitious, innovative and revitalising allocation of money, focusing on activities to restore and protect the ocean, and to develop coastal communities and low-impact fishers. 

The ocean is one of the planet’s largest carbon sinks, but overfishing and destructive fishing techniques are negatively affecting fragile ecosystems and undermining oceanic capacity to mitigate climate change. It is now time for EMFAF funding to be aligned with the EU’s environmental, biodiversity and climate objectives.