Decades of intensive fishing in European waters have led to dramatic declines in once abundant fish populations. Currently, 63 percent of fish stocks in the Atlantic are overfished, 82 percent in the Mediterranean and four out of the six stocks for which scientific advice is available in the Baltic, with over 20 percent being fished beyond safe biological limits, threatening their very future.
The European Union’s (EU’s) Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has failed to prevent overfishing. Over 25 years, short-term economic interest and political expediency has landed European fisheries in deep crisis.
Continuous overfishing has resulted in less-productive fisheries with a gradual loss of jobs and livelihoods. Fewer and smaller fish are being caught, with greater effort required to find them, which often results in the targeting of other, sometimes even more vulnerable, species.