Fish Dependence 2011 – Briefings

The EU has one of the largest fishing fleets in the world, the largest Exclusive Economic Zone, is the largest importer of seafood and has significant political influence in international bodies protecting the sea. Yet European fish stocks are in an extremely poor state—and its fish consumption continues to rise. The EU is sourcing ever more fish from third countries both through imports and the catches of its distant-water fleet. Europeans are now so dependent on fish products originating from external waters that half the fish they consume are sourced outside the EU. The EU's fleets are fishing further and further afield, putting pressure on fish stocks in distant waters and the communities that depend on those fisheries.