Fact Sheet

10 Reasons to End Overfishing in Europe

Taking action would benefit the marine environment, as well as EU citizens and fishermen

Marine life

Restoring fish stocks to sustainable levels through science-based management will help ensure a healthy marine environment for generations to come.

© The Pew Charitable Trusts

Overview

In the waters of Europe, fish and fisheries have played an important part in the history, culture, and well-being of local communities for many centuries. However, this renewable resource has been overexploited for decades, leading to serious consequences for marine ecosystems.

Management of fisheries in the European Union has improved over the past 15 years, but the fishing limits set by EU fisheries ministers too often exceed the levels advised by scientists. That prevents Europeans from realising many of the benefits of sustainable, productive fish stocks and fisheries.

The EU’s reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which took effect at the start of 2014, requires an end to overfishing by 2015 where possible, and by 2020 at the latest. Restoring fish stocks to sustainable levels through science-based management is essential not just because it is the law, but also because it will help ensure a healthy marine environment for generations to come.

Why overfishing must end graphic

Click the figure to expand for additional text.

Our goals

To support effective implementation of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, The Pew Charitable Trusts is working to:

  • End overfishing in Europe’s north-western waters by advocating that EU member states set fishing limits allowing fish stocks to recover to sustainable levels.
  • Protect vulnerable species and ecosystems in the deep sea by securing EU measures to regulate Europe’s bottom-fishing fleet in accordance with agreed-upon United Nations resolutions.

Support our campaign

Join Pew’s efforts to persuade EU decision-makers to bring a rapid end to overfishing in Europe’s north-western waters. For more information and to add your voice, please sign up at pewtrusts.org/endeuoverfishing.

Endnotes

Media Contact

Appolonia Benoist

Associate, Communications

+32.2.2742860

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