Europêche seeks a new narrative on fisheries - Keep eating EU wild fish: it’s good for your health, it’s good for our planet - CO2 emissions from fishing are already down by 40 % -

European authorities have set a steady course to make the EU the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Zero-pollution, preservation of biodiversity as well as healthy and environmentally friendly food systems are some of the priorities that will influence all EU polices in the upcoming years. The European fishing industry has taken a front-runner position, confirming a remarkable cut of its greenhouse gas emissions over the last 30 years while producing the perfect protein for our diets. Europêche seeks now a new narrative that recognises the sector as part of the solution to global environmental threats. Europêche is ready to challenge some of the myths surrounding the fishing industry and show the hard work of fishers that goes into putting sustainable seafood on our plates, reminding that EU-produced wild fish is the healthiest and lowest carbon footprint choice to feed the world and combat climate change.

There is an apparent disconnect between perceptions and reality regarding ocean health. Reasons may include the fact that bad news spreads faster than good news, or the success of misleading campaigns about the state of the oceans which many describe as to be on the verge of collapse.

However, nothing could be further from the truth. According to Europêche, after years of good management and reduction of fishing pressure, fish stocks, particularly in the North East Atlantic, have been increasing significantly reaching in only 10 years, levels 50% higher than in 2010. Besides, 99% of the landings from EU-regulated stocks, 79% at global level, come from sustainable fish stocks. This appears to indicate that the European catch sector has achieved a good balance between food security and biodiversity. Furthermore, thanks to the decreasing low carbon footprint of the sector, 40% down if compared to 1990’s levels, seafood is one of the best food choices to ensure climate protection. 

According to Europêche, EU fishers understand themselves as part of the marine environment, the sea is their workplace, and as such they depend directly on the good health of marine ecosystems. Daniel Voces, managing director of Europêche, pointed out that: “As guardians of the sea, our fishermen are the first and most interested in taking care of the oceans. For many years they have shown their commitment to responsible fishing, nature, science and seafood supply now and for future generations. Fishing is their way of life. Mr Voces reminded that: “It is fundamental to bring the focus of EU policies on the human side of a sector that cares about its people and the planet. Hundreds of family-run fishing companies are working hard to feed the world's population with the healthiest animal protein there is, even during the Covid-19 pandemic, creating wealth and employment throughout the entire value chain with the least possible environmental impact.

The fishing industry represented by Europêche has developed a common vision for the upcoming five years for fishers to be seen, by EU institutions as well as civil society, as part of the solution rather than the problem to face global environmental threats. As part of this new narrative, Europêche aims to communicate the success of good fisheries management and its contribution to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Particular focus will be placed on a balanced approach to the three pillars of sustainability, uphold a zero tolerance against IUU fishing, maintain an international level playing field, debunk myths, prioritise access to traditional fishing grounds, defend the principles of a social economy, support EU fish production, promote EU fisheries agreement, enhance international ocean governance and build trust among EU citizens to generate social license to operate in the seas. 

Attached to this media article can be found the new mission statement of Europêche (below).


Press contacts:

Rosalie Tukker, Policy Advisor of Europêche: +32 2 230 48 48

Sources: Europêche

Tags: wild fish, seafood consumption, planet, zero-pollution, climate-neutral, biodiversity, food systems, CO2 emissions, ocean health, campaign, food security, footprint, fishing sector, climate protection, marine environment, guardians, sustainable development goals, IUU, ocean governance, social license