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EU taxpayers' money should protect fisheries, not keep unsustainable ones afloat

Posted On: 25 Sep 2020   |   Posted By: Client Earth

EU funds that support the fishing and maritime sectors sound like a good idea. But when taxpayers' money is used to prop up environmentally and economically unsustainable fishing, it's time these harmful subsidies come to an end.
Why fisheries subsidies can be harmful
The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is granted by the EU on a seven-year basis and is designed to help fishers, European countries and other interested parties reach economic, social and environmentally sustainable goals to protect the marine environment.
But subsidies can become harmful if used to keep an unsustainable number of fishers in the sector, disregarding depleted fish stocks. In the Mediterranean, more than 90% of stocks were subject to overfishing in 2017, while almost 40% were subject to overfishing in the Northeast Atlantic in 2018.
If misused, public money can support overfishing by helping to offset the costs of vessel fuel, upgrades, port renovations, and other expenses, which enable fishers to travel further and...

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