“Our mission is to promote responsible and sustainable fishing practices that not only ensures a healthy and diverse marine environment but preserves an economically and socially sustainable fishing sector able to contribute to the growing world demand for healthy seafood.” Javier Garat, President of Europêche.
Who we are
Europêche is the representative body for fishermen in the European Union representing around 45,000 vessels, both artisanal and large scale, 80,000 fishermen and counting 16 member organisations from 10 European countries.
What we do
Europêche is the European platform enabling fluent communication between the European institutions and the fishing sector by keeping all relevant stakeholders informed of the concerns and objectives of EU fishermen in political decision making.
Ensure that the vital knowledge and experience of fishermen forms part of the decision making process
Effectively integrate the three pillars of sustainability - environment, social and economic - into EU policy making
Help stakeholders understand the actual impacts of political decisions on fisheries
Build on the successes of our membership in the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Sea Fisheries to ensure safety at sea and decent working and living conditions for fishermen
Support fisheries research by continuing to be an active partner in European projects: such as the European Sector Council for Skills and Employment in the Fisheries Sector
Challenges facing the fisheries sector today
Sustainability - The blue economy in the EU represents 5.4 million jobs and generates almost € 500 billion a year. Over 400,000 people are employed in the European fisheries sector alone. Europêche believe that we need to protect our fishermen within the EU supply chain without jeopardising fish stocks for future generations.
Food Security - the EU fishing industry meets one of the basic human needs; ensuring food security whilst maintaining the best quality and highest standards. With the world population currently over 7 billion, we must find ways of securing the benefits of fishing whilst minimising the ecological footprint.
Implementing the Common Fisheries Policy - the first phase of the discard ban has come into force on 1st January 2015. Before this date, the European Parliament will decide on important technical issues which must be workable and overcome the difficulties of mixed fisheries.
Protect the marine environment - the Marine Strategy Framework Directive will aim to achieve Good Environmental Status in the EU’s marine waters by 2020 by ensuring that the population of commercial fish species is healthy and that long-term abundance and reproduction is secured.
Taking decisions at the right level - With so many different specificities surrounding the different fisheries in the EU, fisheries regulation must be decided at regional level. Legislation should be proportionate and suitable for the fisheries concerned.
Sound science and accurate information - Science is not only biology but is also a social and economic science that has to be integrated in intelligent decision making. The realities of fishing are often lost among the politics that comes with forging important legislation.
The current high average age of fishermen, the initial start-up costs and the precarious future means too few young people are choosing fisheries as a livelihood. One way forward is to ensure the free movement of fishermen on the European labour market by harmonizing standards for training, certification and watch keeping for fishermen.