The European Union is one of the biggest importers and exporters of fish. With its large fishing fleet, strong domestic markets, and the political and commercial influence, the EU exerts enormous influence in fisheries policies worldwide, many of which encourage overfishing. At the same time, the EU is lagging when it comes to sustainable fisheries policy. The majority of assessed EU fish stocks are overfished; the EU fleet is characterised by overcapacity often supported with public aid; and decision making is often non-transparent and on the behalf of short-term interests of segments of the EU fishing industry.
What we fund
In the Europe Programme, our main goal is to restore (and maintain) European marine ecosystems. We aim to fund organisations that ensure the European fleet operates sustainable practices whether in European waters or elsewhere.
Our main initiatives are to:
- recover fish stocks and ecosystem health through the reform of the overarching European Common Fisheries Policy and ensure its implementation;
- promote growth of sustainable seafood in Europe through supply and demand side initiatives; and
- increase stakeholder engagement and improve fisheries management decision making.