EU falls short of eliminating subsidies that fuel overfishing

Press release - January 29, 2014
Brussels – The European Parliament, EU governments and the Commission reached a political agreement last night on the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), but the final deal could undermine efforts to improve fishing rules, said Greenpeace.

Last year, the European Parliament, the European Commission and EU governments agreed to fundamentally reform EU fishing rules and end overfishing within five to ten years.

Greenpeace EU oceans policy adviser Justine Maillot said “Some of the concessions made to EU governments as part of the deal on the new fisheries fund leave a sour taste. While the decision to increase public investments in data collection, control and enforcement could help make sustainable fisheries a reality, the direct subsidies to the fishing sector, including funding for new engines, threaten the objectives of the new Common Fisheries Policy by keeping an oversized fleet afloat”.

The agreed compromise allows EU funding for replacing engines of fishing vessels of up to 24 meters, including trawlers. It also includes direct financial support for fleets fishing in distant waters for up to half a year, in case a fisheries agreement between the EU and a third country is not renewed.

Some technical details of the EMFF still require fine-tuning. The compromise is then supposed to be rubber-stamped in the coming weeks.


Justine Maillot – Greenpeace EU oceans policy adviser: +32 (0) 479 996 922,

Ed Davitt - Greenpeace media officer: +32 (0)476 988 584,

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs:

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.