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Oceans | 14th May 2021

Joint NGO letter to Commissioner on the Commission’s misleading reporting on sustainable fishing
Oceans
Fisheries Enforcement
Fisheries Policy
Wildlife & habitats
Fisheries & Seafood
Europe

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Joint NGO letter to Commissioner on the Commission’s misleading reporting on sustainable fishing

In recent public communications, DG MARE has repeatedly reported that “99% of landings coming from fish stocks managed exclusively by the EU in the Baltic, North Sea and the Atlantic will come from sustainably managed fisheries”. A Commission representative even claimed at a PECH meeting that there is now a 99% chance that fish consumers buy comes from a “sustainable source”.

Such overly positive reporting is misleading and by promoting this narrative, DG MARE generates the impression that EU fisheries are already largely sustainable, and offers to decision-makers an excuse to no longer take the necessary action to tackle overfishing. This puts at risk the future of the many vulnerable stocks not reflected in that statistic, which are still at dangerously low levels, and in dire need of urgent action to rebuild them.

This joint NGO letter was sent to the Commissioner to urge the Commission to stop using this misleading figure and recognise that more efforts are needed instead of pretending that the progress made to date is enough.

Our briefing “Let's get the numbers right: What proportion of fish stocks are sustainably managed in the EU?” provides more detailed information and recommendations on this issue.

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