The European Commission has presented a package of measures to improve the sustainability and resilience of the EU's fisheries and aquaculture sector. It includes four elements:
A Communication on the Energy Transition of the EU Fisheries and Aquaculture sector; an Action Plan to protect and restore marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries; a Communication on the common fisheries policy today and tomorrow and a Report on the Common Market Organisation for fishery and aquaculture products.
The main objectives of the measures are to promote the use of cleaner energy sources and reduce dependency on fossil fuels as well as reduce the sector's impact on marine ecosystems. The proposed actions will be carried out gradually to help the sector adapt. A ‘Pact for Fisheries and Oceans' will also support the full implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in coordination with Member States and fisheries stakeholders, including fishers, producer organisations, regional advisory councils, civil society and scientists. The proposals also have at its heart making the sector an attractive job place for the younger generations.
Net zero emissions fisheries and aquaculture sector by 2050
The Commission has proposed to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and aim towards climate neutral fisheries and aquaculture sector. This is in line with one of the ambitions of the European Green Deal to reach climate neutrality in the EU by 2050. It is proposing measures to support the sector in accelerating its energy transition, by improving fuel efficiency and switching to renewable, low-carbon power sources.
One of the key actions incudes an Energy Transition Partnership for EU Fisheries and Aquaculture. This will bring together all stakeholders, including in fisheries, aquaculture, shipbuilding, ports, energy, NGOs, national and regional authorities, to collectively address the challenges of the sector's energy transition.
Protecting marine ecosystems for sustainable fisheries
The action plan also contributes to delivering on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and its commitment to legally and effectively protect 30% of our seas, with one third being strictly protected. To fulfil this goal, the Commission calls on Member States to take fisheries conservation measures to protect and manage marine protected areas (MPAs) effectively, with a clear timeline. These efforts should include the protection of fish spawning and nursery areas, the reduction of fish mortality rates and the restoration of core areas for sensitive species and habitats. The plan also aims to reduce the impact of fishing on the seabed.
- Publication date
- 23 February 2023
- Joint Research Centre – Ispra