Positions & Papers

Joint NGO letter on including Russian seafood and fishing vessels in upcoming EU sanctions

September 13, 2022

In a joint NGO letter to the European Commission, we state that the EU must urgently ensure that its own fish populations are rebuilt to reduce the dependence on imports from uncooperative yet competitive, high IUU risk sources such as Russia. Immediate action needs to be taken, particularly on the most overfished stocks. Read the full letter here.


Joint NGO feedback to the European Commission on the Common Fisheries Policy’s state of play and orientations for 2023

August 23, 2022

We have provided a joint NGO response to the European Commission’s public consultation on the progress towards more sustainable fisheries, the state of fish stocks and the setting of fishing opportunities. The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) regulation aims to make European fisheries economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. However, the EU is still far from reaching its legal obligation of harvesting all stocks sustainably by 2020. Read more here.


Joint NGO recommendations on Baltic Sea fishing opportunities for 2023

June 15, 2022

In October 2022, EU fisheries ministers will agree on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2023. As the deadline to end overfishing by 2020 has passed, all fishing limits must be in line with sustainable exploitation rates. We have provided joint NGO recommendations on Baltic Sea fishing opportunities for 2023 in the context of environmental regulations, EU fisheries legislation, scientific advice on catch limits, and the sharing of stocks with third countries. Read the NGO briefing here.


Press reactive on ICES advise: No improvement for collapsed stocks – time for a reboot in the Baltic Sea

June 1, 2022

In October 2022, EU fisheries ministers will agree on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2023. Our joint NGO response to the annual scientific advice for 2023 fishing limits in the Baltic Sea by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) states that the Baltic Sea remains in a dire condition, despite tightening of fishing limits in recent years, and that governments in the region must urgently implement precautionary, ecosystem-based fisheries management and boost control and enforcement. Read the NGO press reactive here.


December 9, 2021

NGOs ask Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius, for the prohibition of catches of tope shark (Galeorhinus galeus) in the Northeast Atlantic as this is the only logical outcome for the management of this threatened species in European waters after over a decade of ineffective management1.
211208 Tope shark protection letter


Joint NGO recommenadations Northeast Atlantic fishing opportunities 2022

October 14, 2021

NGO signatories of this document wish to present our recommendations on the setting of fishing opportunities for north east Atlantic fish stocks 2022. Our intent is to assist the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the Member States in making decisions on fishing opportunities that finally end overfishing, significantly contribute to restoring and/or maintaining all fish stocks above healthy levels and safeguard marine ecosystem functions.  
210831 FINAL_NGO recommendations NEA on FO to EU


Updated FINAL NGO recommendations Baltic TACs 2022 based on ICES advice for salmon and western baltic cod

October 8, 2021

When our first Joint NGO recommendations Baltic TACs 2022 was released International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) had not been able to produce their advice for a number of stocks. As soon as the advice was released the Joint recommendations was complemented with a non-paper that was circulated to stakeholders. This updated version of the joint recommendations includes the final recommendations from the non-paper. In October 2021, EU fisheries ministers will agree on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2022. We have provided a range of recommendations regarding the principles for setting sustainable fishing quotas in line with the Common Fisheries Policy and also specific recommendations for the Total Allowable Catches for each of the Baltic fish stocks that are managed by quota. Read the NGO briefing. 211008 FINAL Joint NGO recommendations Baltic TACs 2022  


No eastern Baltic cod in 2022

Joint NGO recommendations on Baltic Sea fishing opportunities for 2022

June 18, 2021

In October 2021, EU fisheries ministers will agree on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2022. We have provided a range of recommendations regarding the principles for setting sustainable fishing quotas in line with the Common Fisheries Policy and also specific recommendations for the Total Allowable Catches for each of the Baltic fish stocks that are managed by quota. Read the NGO briefing: 210618 FINAL Joint NGO recommendations Baltic TACs 2022


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 competence in this area, is yet to succeed in fulfilling its objectives. Implementation and enforcement challenges remain, often due to Member States’ inaction, insufficient oversight by the European Commission and industry resistance to change. Possible solutions exist within the CFP itself, or in other available legal instruments, without the need to reform the CFP Basic Regulation in the medium-term.
Article 49 of the CFP Basic Regulation states that: “The Commission shall report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the functioning of the CFP by 31 December 2022”. In anticipation of this report, this policy paper aims to provide a constructive assessment by mapping weaknesses in CFP implementation and opportunities to address them. We offer recommendations for tackling the gaps to end overfishing, including in the Mediterranean Sea, for implementing the landing obligation, reducing the negative impacts of fishing on the environment, transitioning to low-impact fisheries, eliminating harmful subsidies, improving regionalisation and the external dimension, and addressing the lack of climate change considerations in the CFP. NGOs call on the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, Member States, and relevant stakeholders to deliver urgently on the CFP’s objectives to ensure the long-term environmental sustainability of fisheries and of the coastal communities that depend on them.
210611 CFP Mission Not Yet Accomplished_joint NGO


Joint NGO EU Parliament voting recommendations (January 2021)

February 10, 2021

2019/2177(INI) report on “​Securing the objectives of the landing obligation under Article 15 of the Common Fisheries Policy​”
These joint NGO recommendations on the amendments tabled for ​Mr Gade’s own initiative report on the landing obligation are supported by ClientEarth, BirdWatch Ireland, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Dutch Elasmobranch Society, The Danish Society for Nature Conservation, FishSec, Fundació ENT, Oceana, Our Fish, Sciaena and Seas At Risk. We broadly support Mr Gade’s draft report: it reflects both the urgent need for and the challenges of a proper implementation of the landing obligation (LO) in a balanced manner.