Low impact fisheries


Low-impact fisheries have been a focus of ours for years. We support low-impact fisheries as a step towards thriving marine ecosystems and local communities – supporting both environmental and social sustainability.


What is low-impact fisheries?Fishing bouys at beach

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.

Fishers which have the least impact on the marine environment tend to be small-scale fishers, living and working locally.


What we do

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 for developing fishing gear that will reduce the environmental impact of fishing on the marine ecosystem, and 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.


Further reading

The Baltic Sea – a model for low impact fisheries?


Last updated: February 10, 2021

Recent publications

Common Fisheries Policy: Mission not yet accomplished

June 11, 2021

Seven years after the last reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) entered into force, the EU, which has exclusive...

Joint NGO letter to European Commission – urgent action needed t...

July 10, 2019

A coalition of 27 NGOs have written to the European Commission calling on them to implement emergency measures in order...

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...

OCEAN2012: Regional governance – making it work for fisheries an...

June 29, 2009

This paper is intended to provide you with a thought-provoking background before the Conference “Regional Fisheries Management – making it work...