Environmental Initiatives

Our Goals

Pew works in the European Union to:

  • End overfishing, ensure that preferential access is given to fishermen using environmentally sustainable fishing practices, and ensure that fishing limits are set in accordance with scientific advice.
  • Rebuild fish stocks, phase out environmentally harmful subsidies to the fisheries sector, and reduce excess fishing capacity.
  • Protect vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems from destructive fishing practices and phase out deep-sea bottom trawling and gillnetting in the Northeast Atlantic, through the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.
  • Establish a worldwide system of large, highly protected marine reserves in national waters of U.K. and French overseas territories and on the high seas, including sanctuaries for some of the world’s remaining near-pristine areas, such as Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, and safeguard vulnerable species, such aspenguins.
  • Combat IUU fishing by promoting stronger port and flag State measures, as well as enhanced monitoring, control, and surveillance within countries’ waters and on the high seas.
  • Develop science-based catch limits for endangered fish species, such as sharks and tunas, along with timely recovery plans for depleted fisheries.
  • Put in place measures that conserve sharks, such as full protection of the most vulnerable shark species, careful control of the catch of others, protection of all sharks where full scientific information is unavailable, and monitoring and regulation of the trade in shark products.

Campaign Progress

  • Shark Conservation Gets a Boost in Europe Added: Nov. 21, 2011

    The Pew coordinated Shark Alliance coalition welcomed the long-awaited proposal today from the European Commission for closing the loopholes in the European Union (EU) shark finning ban.

  • European Commission Proposes a Reform to the Common Fisheries Policy Added: Jul. 13, 2011

    The European Commission took a step in the right direction when they proposed a major fisheries fix to Council and Parliament. The proposal included solid targets for the recovery of European fish stocks and the creation of a market in fishing rights.

  • EU Advances Protection for Sharks and Rays Added: Dec. 15, 2010

    As a result of advocacy efforts by the Pew-led Shark Alliance to ensure proper implementation of the EU action plan for sharks, the European Union prohibited fishing for common guitarfish and blackchin guitarfish in the Northeast Atlantic, considered endangered in EU waters by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature; ended all fishing for spurdog; maintained the closure of the porbeagle shark fishery through 2011; and reduced quotas for skates and rays.

  • EU Fisheries Subsidies Revealed in New Online Mapping Tool Added: Nov. 8, 2010

    The Pew Environment Group’s European Marine Programme initiated and is supporting FishSubsidy.org , a website that allows decision makers and the public to see in detail how and where EU fishing subsidies have been spent. A new interactive map allows European citizens to track 3.4 billion Euros in EU fisheries subsidies.

  • 28,500 People Call on EU Fisheries Commissioner to Put Environment First Added: Sep. 13, 2010

    The Pew-led OCEAN2012 coalition bolstered support for a strong reform of the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) by presenting 25,859 petition signatures to EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, calling on her to prioritize the health of the marine environment in the CFP reform.

  • Pew-led Coalition Brings Together Stakeholders in European Fisheries Policy Reform Added: May. 3, 2010

    Since June 2009, the Pew-led OCEAN2012 coalition has engaged decision-makers and stakeholders in the reform of the Europe Union’s Common Fisheries Policy at all levels. In May 2010, OCEAN2012 brought together an unprecedented group of small scale fishers and environmental NGOs.

  • European Union Adopts New Regulation to Ensure Compliance with the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy Added: Dec. 22, 2009

    The European Marine Programme supported the adoption by the EU of a Control Regulation that establishes a Community system for control, inspection and enforcement in order to ensure compliance with the rules of the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy.

  • EU Ends Fisheries for Endangered Sharks Added: Dec. 15, 2009

    The European fishery for porbeagle, considered Critically Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, was closed in December 2009, as a result of advocacy efforts by the Pew-led Shark Alliance to ensure proper implementation of the EU action plan for sharks.

  • UK Acts to End Shark Finning Added: Oct. 11, 2009

    The United Kingdom adopted a complete ban on the removal of shark fins on board vessels requiring that sharks are landed with their fins naturally attached. The Shark Trust, a founding member of the Pew-led Shark Alliance, has campaigned against finning and for this groundbreaking policy for years.

  • Shark Alliance Welcomes Spanish Protections for Threatened Sharks Added: Oct. 5, 2009

    The Pew-led Shark Alliance and its member groups were instrumental in the adoption by Spain of national legislation banning fishing for 11 species of hammerhead and thresher sharks.

  • Sharks Get a Lifeline Through New EU Action Plan Added: Feb. 5, 2009

    The Pew-led Shark Alliance coalition and its member groups played an instrumental role in the European Commission’s adoption of the Community Plan of Action for sharks (CPOA), which includes commitments to strengthen the EU shark finning regulation, implement science-based fishing limits and protect endangered shark and ray species.

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