what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Combating illegal fishing at the global level - the role of the EU

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing accounts for at least 15% of all catches globally.

This makes it one of the most serious threats to marine conservation. International efforts to combat illegal fishing led the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN to adopting an action plan in 2002. However, the FAO plan was voluntary and lacked expensive - but necessary - enforcement instruments.

In 2008 the EU followed a Green idea and decided to use its weight as the world's biggest importer of fish by prohibiting the sale of any fish which could not be shown to have been caught legally.

But meanwhile other regions of the world regions, with China foremost among them, have increased their fish imports, so illegally caught fish might be diverted to these markets.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens want the European Commission to pressure other countries to adopt similar legislation to halt imports of fish caught by illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

We called on the Member States to pump additional funds into coordinating and monitoring fishing activities. European operators of fishing fleets should be named and shamed whenever they are caught fishing illegally.

We are also championing the introduction of a global catch certification system.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

The Greens managed to muster majority support from MEPs for our most important demands, ranging from better coordination and surveillance to active diplomacy against illegal fishing and several other measures for the Commission to take.

In the meantime, the Commission has signed memoranda of understanding with the USA, Japan, Canada and other countries to support the EU's campaign.


Which points did the Greens lose?

The vote was a total success for the Greens.


Procedure:Non-legislative enactment


Lead MEP:Isabella Lövin (GREENS/EFA)

Green MEP responsible:Isabella Lövin


Staff contact:Michael Earle (Email)

Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?