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, 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.
Despite a wide range of tools available to improve fishing operations, the 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 (e.g. bottom-trawling). This poses a significant risk that the EU won’t achieve the goals it has set, chiefly:
- To avoid the wasteful practice of discarding unwanted catches and to reduce unwanted fishing mortality, especially for vulnerable marine species.
- To ensure that all fishing activities are sustainably harvesting fish stocks by 2020.
- To achieve good environmental status (GES) for all EU waters by 2020
What WWF is doing
At the WWF EPO, we use our Brussels-based presence and existing 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.