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The current COVID-19 crisis poses an immediate threat to the European fisheries sector - but an ill-conceived crisis response could put at risk the sustainability of EU fisheries for years to come, including the future of fish stocks and of those that depend on them. The European fisheries sector has been lobbying for measures to soften the blow of the crisis.
One request relates to an increase in the interannual quota flexibility from 10% to 25%, in addition to various support policies that have already been adopted.
This document explains why increasing interannual flexibility is a dangerous idea that policy-makers must resist if they are to protect and build on the progress made so far towards ending overfishing. Any COVID-19 crisis response policies should contribute to “building back better”.
Alternatives to meet this intent are explored in more detail in the joint NGO paper Setting the right safety net: A framework for fisheries support policies in response to COVID-19.