© Clementine Laurent
Sustainable Fisheries
As the world’s largest market for seafood products, the European Union must lead by example with respect to driving sustainable fisheries, both within its territorial waters and worldwide.


Why it matters

Globally, over 60% of assessed fish stocks remain overfished or fully fished. The effective implementation of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) would ensure that all fishing activities carried out by the EU fleet are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. Improved compliance with fisheries rules by all stakeholders both in and out of EU waters to help fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, deliver more robust traceability of seafood products sold in the EU, and achieve fully-documented, low-impact fisheries that take bycatch, marine ecosystems and sensitive species into account will help to secure not only the long-term viability of the fisheries sector, but boost ocean resilience in the face of the climate and biodiversity crises.

Despite a wide range of tools available to improve fishing operations, implementation of the CFP is facing significant challenges, as numerous fish stocks remain overexploited and hundreds of thousands of marine species are threatened by unsustainable practices, which puts the long-term future of fisheries and fair standards of living for coastal communities at risk.

What WWF is doing

At the WWF EPO, we use our Brussels-based presence and positive relationships with all stakeholders, including the EU institutions (European Commission, European Parliament and Council of the European Union) to strengthen legislative measures of key marine and fisheries files. We offer evidence-based solutions for improved practices and for successful implementation of the legislation to achieve the targets currently in place, and ensure coherence between the EU’s environmental, climate and fisheries policies.

As part of the EU Fisheries Control Coalition, WWF EPO joins forces with eight other civil society organisations to ensure that the ongoing revision of the fisheries Control Regulation will bolster fully documented fisheries activities and bring transparency to our seafood supply chains. 
The EPO is also working with companies specialised in ocean data and seafood traceability, as well as other civil society organisations focusing on ocean conservation and digital transitions.  Our aim is to provide fishers and authorities with new technologies to improve monitoring and control of fishing fleets, facilitate the uptake of modern fisheries management measures by operators, and spur advancement in making information available to consumers through better traceability of seafood products. 


Dr Antonia Leroy
Head of Ocean Policy
+32 485 69 20 85

Louis Lambrechts
Ocean Policy Officer

Policy briefs & Position papers
Delivering a framework for sustainable blue food in the EU (April 2024)
pdf 4.63 MB
Joint policy brief: Splash out (the right way). 15 Recommendations for spending the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (November 2021)
pdf 451 KB
Joint Position Paper: Common Fisheries Policy – Mission Not Yet Accomplished (June 2021)
pdf 1.54 MB
Seafood traceability: exemptions risk fuelling illegal fishing (January 2021)
pdf 10.77 MB
Joint Position Paper: Making SFPA evaluations more efficient (September 2020)
pdf 160 KB
Joint NGO Recommendations: 10 priorities for the future of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (May 2020)
pdf 2.18 MB
Joint NGO position paper: Will the EU doom our ocean and fishers? (January 2020)
pdf 1.73 MB
Policy brief - International level: Mitigating Climate Change Impacts on Food Security from the Ocean (December 2019)
pdf 2.14 MB
Joint NGO position paper: Revision of the EU Fisheries Control System (November 2019)
pdf 902 KB
Policy Brief: Empowering women in marine communities to mitigate the impacts of climate change (September 2019)
pdf 16.48 MB
Policy brief - EU-level: Mitigating Climate Change Impacts on Food Security from the Ocean (June 2019)
pdf 8.42 MB
Joint NGO letter: Addressed to WTO on harmful fisheries subsidies (April 2019)
pdf 1.02 MB
Joint NGO position paper: The effective transformation of the post-2020 EMFF (January 2019)
pdf 682 KB
WWF Policy Brief: Facing Up to the Landing Obligation (December 2018 )
pdf 222 KB
Policy brief: A vision for achieving sustainable fisheries in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (July 2018)
pdf 247 KB