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