ClientEarth’s position on fuel subsidies in the fisheries sector

ClientEarth’s position on fuel subsidies in the fisheries sector

ClientEarth’s position on fuel subsidies in the fisheries sector

 Harmful subsidies in fisheries artificially increase profits by reducing the cost of fishing and/or by  increasing fishers’ revenue, resulting in overcapacity and overfishing.  

  • Fuel exemptions are harmful subsidies that reduce the costs of fishing and therefore lead to an  increase of fishing capacity. In a situation where stocks are not at sustainable levels, fuel  exemptions contribute to overfishing. By reducing the costs of fishing, fuel subsidies also  contribute to keeping people in the sector artificially, wastefully delaying an inevitable economic  transition.  
  • Fuel exemptions in the fisheries sector should be eliminated through the revision of the Energy  Taxation Directive (ETD).  Fuel exemptions should also be tackled in the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)  negotiations on elimintating harmful fisheries subsidies.  
  • Eliminating fuel exemptions is compatible with – indeed is part of – making fisheries in Europe  sustainable.  
  • Support should be redirected to low-impact fishers in Europe, who are simultaneously the most  vulnerable and vital.  
  • The first step is to give favourable access to our fisheries to small-scale, low-impact fishers,  including access to quotas, which to them means accessing the very resources that allow them  to make a living.  
  • In order to achieve environmental sustainability in EU fisheries, support should be designed to target small-scale fisheries that operate in a way that minimises their impact on the environment.

Download pdf: ClientEarth’s position on fuel subsidies in the fisheries sector 

Share this article

Don’t Stop Here

More To Explore

Fishing boats in the village Union Hall, West Cork, Ireland. Union Hall is synonymous with fresh fish. Photo: davewalshphoto.com

Decarbonise Now Response to Belgium’s Undermining of EU Energy Taxation Directive

“The question is, why do EU finance ministers under the lead of the Belgian Presidency seem unable to make the decision to move away from fossil fuel subsidies towards other types of tax benefits, or other subsidies that would incentivise the decarbonization process of the fisheries or maritime transport sectors, and would lead to a much-needed carbon-free EU economy?”

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.

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.