On February 21, 2023. The European Commission has unveiled a package of measures to improve the sustainability and resilience of the EU fisheries and aquaculture sector, which include:
- Communication on energy transition in the EU fisheries and aquaculture sector;
- An action plan for the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries;
- communication on the common fisheries policy now and in the future;
- report on the common organization of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products.
The measures outlined are aimed at promoting the use of cleaner energy sources, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and reducing the impact of fishing on marine ecosystems. The plans are to be implemented gradually so that the sector can adapt to the new requirements.
One of the planned measures is to reduce dependence on fossil fuel energy and strive for a climate-neutral fishing and aquaculture sector. Under the measure, the EC is proposing to introduce measures to accelerate the sector’s energy transition by improving fuel efficiency and switching to renewable, low-carbon energy sources. One of the key activities in this area is the EU Fisheries and Aquaculture Energy Transition Partnership. As envisioned, it will include all stakeholders, namely representatives of fisheries, aquaculture, shipbuilding, ports, energy, NGOs, national and regional authorities. Their task will be to jointly address the challenges of energy transition in the sector.
Another of the planned measures is the protection of marine ecosystems to ensure sustainable fisheries. The EC has unveiled an action plan to enhance the common policy’s contribution to the EU’s environmental goals and reduce the negative impact of fishing activities on marine ecosystems, particularly through seabed disturbance, bycatch of sensitive species and disruption of marine food webs.
Considering the challenges facing the fisheries and aquaculture sector and seeking a joint commitment to fully implement a unified policy, the EC has proposed a fisheries and oceans pact involving all stakeholders. It is expected to contribute to mutual understanding of the goals in the future and help align legal and policy guidelines.