Working for sustainable European fisheries

Sharing knowledge and learning from experience

Europe is the fifth largest producer of fishery goods in world, and is the world's number one importer of fish. That, along with having the world's third largest fishing fleet, makes it a significant player in the global seafood market. Europe is therefore a vital geography in Environmental Defense Fund's work to secure more food on the plate, more fish in the sea and thriving coastal communities. We partner with local experts across the continent to drive progress towards this common goal.

How we work

We build many types of partnerships to advance secure fishing rights and co-management in Europe, including:

  • Fishermen exchanges, which are valuable, practical learning opportunities for fishermen.
  • Membership in regional fisheries advisory councils including the North Sea and Baltic Sea Advisory Councils where our active membership allows us to both listen and contribute to a stakeholder-driven process.
  • Partnerships with local experts including John Goodlad, an international fisheries expert based in Scotland, and Peter Olsson, head of the Swedish Fishermen's Producer Organisation, who serve as our industry advisers in the UK and Sweden respectively.
  • Discussion groups, government consultation processes, and meetings which provide excellent opportunities for us to present our tools, share learning,and take a pragmatic, solutions-based approach to the challenges ahead.

Our country projects

  • Spain fishery

    Spain »

    Spain has some of the richest biodiversity regions in Europe. It is also a top fishing nation and market within Europe and globally. Spain is therefore uniquely positioned to drive change in other European fisheries, especially in the South and around the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Sweden fisheriy

    Sweden »

    Swedish fishermen are already developing world class fishing selectivity measures to help meet the challenges of a changing industry, and comply with the phase-in of the Europe-wide Landing Obligation (or 'discard ban').

  • UK fishery

    United Kingdom »

    In a post-Brexit environment we will continue to make a strong case to fishermen and fishery managers that flexible, durable quota management systems can help build security and resilience in the UK's economically and biologically significant fisheries.