An Energy Transition for the EU Fishing Sector: One That Protects the Environment and is Socially Just

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Our Vision for Decarbonisation

We have a vision for a decarbonisation of the fisheries sector that progressively leads to a greenhouse gas-neutral fisheries using less energy-intensive gears and less destructive gears.

Decarbonisation will go hand in hand with a transition towards low impact fisheries, allowing the ocean and fish to play their role as climate regular and natural carbon sinks. Coastal communities will thrive thanks to their activity as fishers but also thanks to the beauty of the marine environment they will feel responsible to protect and honour. Consumers will have learned to eat less but more seasonal fish that has been sustainably fished in EU waters. We encourage the European Commission and Member States to take a step-by-step approach for a decarbonisation roadmap.

In the first period all available measures to reduce fuel consumption should be implemented as they can also easily be financed through the EMFAF. A shift towards low impact fishing should be encouraged by any means in this first phase. While technological innovation is advancing, decarbonisation can move forward towards alternative fuels. These options should be strongly assessed in the light of environmental, social and safety impacts.

Transition to Low Impact Fisheries » 

Financing the Energy Transition » 

Fishing boats in the harbour of Saint Jean de Luz, Basque Country, Pyrenees Atlantiques, France. Photo: davewalshphoto.com
Photo: davewalshphoto.com
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Fishing boats in the harbour of Saint Jean de Luz, Basque Country, Pyrenees Atlantiques, France. Photo: davewalshphoto.com

Briefing: Is the urgency of eliminating fossil fuel subsidies for fisheries reflected in the Energy Taxation Directive?

Without the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies from our economies, it will be impossible to reach the agreed climate targets at global level and ensure a decent future for the planet and humankind in the next decades. The recent COP28 climate summit recognised the need to transition away from fossil fuels, and the phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that do not address energy poverty or just transitions, as soon as possible.

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Fishing boat - fishing for lobster and crab near the Ile de Batz, Brittany, France. Photo: davewalshphoto.com

Briefing: Financing the Decarbonisation of the EU Fisheries Sector

We are in the midst of a climate crisis, with the effects of rising temperatures – due to climate change – now making themselves known everywhere. At the same time, we are facing a major biodiversity crisis, which hugely impacts the marine environment and the functioning of the ocean as a climate regulator. On top of these major crises, with the ongoing war in Ukraine, we also face an unprecedented energy challenge.

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Carbon-friendly & economically resilient EU fisheries

Carbon-friendly & economically resilient EU fisheries

The European Commission launched in February 2023 an Action plan for the Energy Transition of the EU Fisheries sector. Our policy briefing highlights our recommendations for this crucial process of decarbonization which is part of the broader effort to achieve climate change objectives set in the European Green Deal and the European climate law.

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