The overfishing of many species in EU waters continues, putting the commitments of the EU’s reformed Common Fisheries Policy in jeopardy unless this practice is ended. Yet when the EU Council meets to set annual quota limits, the powerful commercial fishing industry lobbies successfully for catch limits set far higher than the scientific advice. The power of this short-termist lobbying threatens the sustainability of many fish stocks, and the long-term viability of fishing livelihoods.

The many precautionary warnings about deep sea mining remain unheeded by the European Commission, which re-affirmed deep sea mining as one of its priority Blue Growth sectors.

Member States are designating more and more marine protected areas in their offshore waters (i.e. beyond 12 nautical miles) in order to protect vulnerable or remarkable marine habitats and species. These areas need to be effectively protected from damaging activities, in particular from certain types of fisheries. International cooperation, following the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy, is key to this.