European authorities have set a steady course to make the EU the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Zero-pollution, preservation of biodiversity as well as healthy and environmentally friendly food systems are some of the priorities that will influence all EU polices in the upcoming years. The European fishing industry has taken a front-runner position, confirming a remarkable cut of its greenhouse gas emissions over the last 30 years while producing the perfect protein for our diets. Europêche seeks now a new narrative that recognises the sector as part of the solution to global environmental threats. Europêche is ready to challenge some of the myths surrounding the fishing industry and show the hard work of fishers that goes into putting sustainable seafood on our plates, reminding that EU-produced wild fish is the healthiest and lowest carbon footprint choice to feed the world and combat climate change.
A new report from the UN expert group on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has found that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history with many species facing extinction at accelerating rates. According to the report, the oceans are no exception to this trend caused by changes in sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species. The European fishing industry, while acknowledging the potential risks for the marine environment, stresses that fishing poses no threat for the long-term preservation of marine resources. Proof of that is that thanks to fisheries management and industry-led efforts, fish stocks have been generally increasing in many areas such as the North East Atlantic, currently reaching levels 36% higher than in 2003. This positive trend shows that UN’s extinction warning particularly for fish populations is a bit far-fetched.
Earlier this year, a group of researches claimed that fishing activities occurred in 55% of the world’s oceans . As a result, their study found that the area fished is four times bigger than the area occupied by agriculture in terms of square kilometres. Europêche then argued that the study was based on scientifically unsound data , overestimating the proportion of the seabed where fishing occurs. A new scientific research developed by the Department of Marine Sciences and Fisheries of the University of Washington evidences this by showing that when low-resolution data are replaced by high-resolution data, the true footprint of fishing is revealed to be less than 4%. Science confirms that fishing continues to hold the first place as the lowest impact production method.
After tracking the satellite messages transmitting the position of 70.000 fishing vessels for the past 4 years, a group of researches  claim that commercial fishing covers over 55% of the ocean's surface. As a result, their study states that the area fished is four times bigger than the area occupied by agriculture in terms of square kilometres. Europêche argues that the study does not provide any new insight since fishing vessel monitoring systems have been widely implemented and enforced across the oceans for decades showing the exact location of our vessels to the competent authorities. In addition, the report is based on scientifically unsound data, overestimates the proportion of the seabed where fishing occurs and has little use for fisheries management.