Communiqué de presse
Today, an alliance of fishing organizations from 14 EU countries  representing over 22 000 fishermen and 8 000 vessels, presented to Fisheries Commissioner Sinkevicius the importance and realities of bottom fishing activities across Europe. The meeting was requested by the industry due to the negative perception expressed by the Commission towards certain bottom gears and against the background of the Action Plan that the Commission is developing to further protect fisheries resources and marine ecosystems in the context of EU’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. The industry showcased the sustainability and overall importance of these widespread fishing methods in all EU member states and demonstrated that these fisheries are well regulated, controlled, researched and widely certified.
Europêche represented the European fishing fleet at the 27th ordinary meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) which just ended yesterday following a week of intensive negotiations via video conference.
During the plenary session of the European social dialogue committee for sea fisheries held last week, ETF and Europêche adopted a joint resolution establishing benchmark principles aimed at better regulating the proliferation of sustainability labels certifying social conditions on board fishing vessels. The intention is to avoid social-washing labels while stressing the importance of the ILO “Work in Fishing” Convention C188 as guardian of human and labour rights of fishers at sea, which cannot be replaced or substituted by private schemes.
The commercial fisheries of the EU stretch for thousands of square miles, from the inhospitable seas of the Arctic North, to the warmer and more favourable climes of the Southern Mediterranean. These communal waters harbour a plethora of commercial species of fish and shellfish, the landings of which form an integral part of the economies of 23 member countries, accounting for a colossal 4.9 million tonne catch, from a fleet of 87,500 vessels, a statistic that indicates a world ranking of 5th largest in terms of total output.