Although this issue is not unique to the region—experts estimate that $83 billion is lost worldwide annually to overfishing and could be recovered through stock restoration—it persisted for years in large part because of the European Union’s reluctance to set fishing limits in line with scientific advice.
Although European ministers have followed the science in setting most of the 2018 fishing limits, they must do more: Under the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, Member States are legally bound to end overfishing by 2020 to maintain sustainable fisheries.
Progress toward that goal has varied, but it generally has been too slow to meet the 2020 deadline. Pew’s work is focused on bringing EU fisheries management in line with scientific advice to end overfishing and allow stocks to recover. In doing so, the EU would set a positive example for other governments and help ensure the future sustainability of fisheries in northwestern Europe and beyond.
To support effective implementation of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, we are working to ensure that overfishing ends in Europe’s northwestern waters by advocating that EU decision-makers: