Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee - Sea fisheries

Social Partners
Operation of the sectoral social dialogue committees

Europêche is a member of the sectoral social dialogue committee for sea fisheries which consists of a maximum of 66 representatives of the social partners, comprising an equal number of employers' and workers' representatives. It is chaired by a representative of the social partners which is elected every two years.

Each Committee adopts its own rules of procedure, and holds at least one plenary meeting per year, dealing with more specific questions at meetings of enlarged secretariats or restricted working parties. The task of preparing meetings, the agenda and following-up work is most frequently delegated to the respective secretariats of the social partners, together with the Commission.

Social dialogue in this sector covers:

  • Fishing

  • Aquaculture

The EU is the world’s second largest fishing power after China, with almost 7 million tonnes of fish produced from fisheries and aquaculture (some 5% of the world total).

Challenges to the sector include:

  • Viable socio-economic adjustment of the European fishing fleet, finding the right balance with the current fishing opportunities

  • Increased competition due to the globalisation of the market in fish products

  • Health and safety in the fisheries sector. Social partners aim to reduce the high number of accidents at sea and to increase onboard safety.

Focus areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • The International Labour Organisation Convention on work in the fisheries sector follow-up

  • Measures under the new integrated maritime policy

  • Health and safety issues

  • Application of the social clause in fisheries agreements with non-EU countries and mutual recognition of qualifications at EU level

  • Promoting the implementation at EU level of the international convention on fishermen's training on health and safety issues

  • The social impact of the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (to be adopted by the EU by 2014).

Activities and meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee

  • Agreement on the transposition of ILO Convention n°188 on work in fishing (2012)

  • Handbook for the prevention of accidents at sea and the safety of fishermen (2007)

See also European sectoral social dialogue – recent developments" (2010 brochure).

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