More Selective and Less Fuel Intensive Gears

Member States should mandate technological and strategic fishing solutions to save fuel according to the least harmful pathways. Greater gear selectivity, and reduced gear impacts on sedimentary carbon stores would be key changes that would see EU fisheries lead the transition towards decarbonisation of fisheries. 


EU decision-makers, Member States, and fishing companies should prioritise fuel-saving improvements and pilot studies in fisheries that use mobile bottom-contacting gears, which are most fuel-intensive and pose the greatest risk to sedimentary carbon stores and seabed habitats.


The European Commission and Member States should develop studies to analyse how best to scale-up the switch from mobile bottom-trawling to more passive fishing techniques that have a lower environmental impact and lower fuel emissions. This should include assessing how to limit any environmental, economic, and social costs and how to transition the few mobile bottom-contacting fisheries with limited alternatives for catching certain target species (e.g., deep-water shrimp, sandeels).  


Member States should mandate, develop demonstration projects, and provide guidance to the sector to switch their most fuel-intensive and high-impact gears to less energy-intensive, passive techniques.