Low impact fisheries

Fishing bouys at beachLow-impact fisheries have been a focus of ours for a number of years. We support low-impact fisheries as a step towards thriving marine ecosystems and local communities, supporting both environmental and social sustainability. Fishers which have the least impact on the marine environment tend to be small-scale fishers, living and working locally.

The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) gave momentum to adapting fishing techniques, through its focus on obtaining maximum sustainable yield, the discard ban, improving selectivity and subsidies for gear changes.

These factors, combined with Article 17 of the CFP (EU 1380/2013) on access criteria, provide a clear context for a shift toward low-impact fishing. By allocating fishing opportunities based on environmental and social criteria, Member States are not only more likely to achieve a sustainable and low-impact fishery, but also to reach the overarching objectives of the CFP.

We have hosted several conferences on low-impact fisheries and produced briefings on the environmental impacts caused by fishing in the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea region is home to a number of projects to develop fishing gear to reduce the environmental impact of fishing on the marine ecosystem and to reduce discards. It is our hope that the Baltic region, with its fisheries and recovering stocks, can lead the way in low-impact fishing practices.

The Baltic Sea – a model for low impact fisheries?

Last updated: April 12, 2016

Recent publications

Briefing on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

April 30, 2013

This briefing on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) (COM(2011)804) is aimed at MEPs who are members of the...


Council brief on TFCs, access to resources and regionalisation

April 12, 2012

This briefing paper has been provided as input for the Council meeting on 26-27 April, at which proposals for Transferable...


OCEAN2012: Bringing fishing capacity in line with available resources

June 10, 2010

The reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) must reduce fishing power to match available resources. Measures to reduce capacity must ensure that...


OCEAN2012: Reward responsible fishing with priority access

May 29, 2010

OCEAN2012 proposes that access to fish resources, and appropriate fishing capacity (quantity and type), be based on a set of transparent criteria for environmentally...