Positions & Papers

NGOs urgent request to the Swedish Presidency on the EU’s fisheries control system

January 20, 2023

ClientEarth, the Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, Our Fish, Sciaena, Seas at Risk, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation,  The Fisheries Secretariat, The Nature Conservancy, and WWF have sent a letter to Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs, Peter Kullgren, asking them to ensure trilogue discussions conclude with an ambitious agreement that future-proofs the EU’s fisheries control regulatory framework, without any backtracking or weakening of current control rules. We call on the Swedish Presidency to:

  1. Ensure that all quantities of each fish species caught are recorded, without expanding the margin of error allowed (the margin of tolerance) when fishing operators estimate their catches.
  2. Ensure full digital traceability of all fish and seafood products entering the EU supply chain without exemptions, including processed and preserved products.
  3. Extend mandatory vessel tracking systems for all fishing vessels.
  4. Make the installation of remote electronic monitoring (REM) systems – in particular CCTV cameras – mandatory on all fishing vessels over 12 metres in length and on those under 12 metres that are deemed either at risk of breaching the rules of the Regulation or likely to be complicit in the bycatch of sensitive species.
The ongoing trilogue negotiations provide the opportunity to establish the EU’s fisheries control framework for years to come. It must therefore ensure that EU fisheries will be properly and sustainably managed with the aim of minimising environmental impacts of fishing activities, ensuring food security, and creating climate-resilient and healthy marine ecosystems.

Letter to the EU Commission regarding the EU position on 30×30 at CBD COP15

December 13, 2022

Joint NGO letter to Commissioner Sinkevičius to express deep concerns regarding the protected areas element of the negotiations to
agree a new global biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Joint NGO recommendations to the EU on the setting of fishing opportunities for 2023

September 16, 2022

The 17 NGO signatories of this document wish to present recommendations on the setting of fishing opportunities for 2023, including for stocks managed by the European Union (EU) alone and stocks shared with third countries like the United Kingdom (UK) and Norway, as well as for deep-sea stocks for 2023 and 2024.   NGO TAC recommendations to EU for 2023

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.

NGO response to DG MARE consultation on how to implement the ICES advice on eel

May 10, 2022

The European eel needs a break. It used to be so common that it made up more than 50% of all freshwater biomass in many countries. That is almost impossible to imagine today. A joint response by 22 NGOs to DG MARE consultation providing recommendations on what we believe needs to be done to implement the ICES advice on European eel can be found here.

A report on the Decline of Cod in the Baltic Sea

March 24, 2022

This state of the art report gives an overview of the current knowledge on the situation of cod in the Baltic Sea, as well as recommendations for Baltic cod recovery. It was produced by FishSec as part of the Return of the Cod Project.   FishSec Report Decline Baltic Cod March2022

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