EU Action Plan: Protecting and restoring marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2023) 102
Publication Date 21/02/2023
Content Type


Communication adopted by the European Commission on 21 February 2023, setting out an Action Plan seeking to strengthen the contribution of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to the European Union's environmental objectives and reduce the adverse impact of fishing activities on marine systems.

Further information:

The marine environment and the fisheries sector face a number of serious challenges. In addition to the existential threats posed by climate change and biodiversity loss, a number of challenges have triggered market disruptions, shortages of essential raw materials, and the rise of fuel and fish feed prices. The European Union (EU) cannot lose sight of the need to safeguard the sustainability of its food systems. Making the EU's fisheries more resilient also means ensuring they contribute to the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems.

This Action Plan seeks to step up action to reverse the decline of these ecosystems by tackling all pressures. This includes making fisheries management more sustainable and modern. It is part of the European Commission's efforts to achieve a more consistent implementation of the sustainability pillars of the EU's environmental policy and Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). It builds on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and addresses the shortcomings identified in the assessment provided by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) on the marine environment. It focuses on marine protected areas (MPAs) and on ways in which fisheries management can contribute to more effective protection and restoration of their marine biodiversity. The Action Plan draws on contributions made by stakeholders and citizens during a consultation launched by the Commission.

This Communication was adopted by the European Commission on 21 February 2023, as part of a legislative package focusing on the sustainability and resilience of the EU's fisheries and aquaculture sector. It was published in the aftermath of an agreement for a new global biodiversity framework reached at the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15). The Action Plan seeks to deliver on some of the global commitments taken by the EU.

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Related Links
European Commission: Common Fisheries Policy: Action plan: Protecting and restoring marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries
European Commission: Press Release, 21/02/2023: Fisheries, aquaculture and marine ecosystems: transition to clean energy and ecosystem protection for more sustainability and resilience
European Commission: Questions and Answers on Action Plan to protect and restore marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries (21 February 2023)
European Commission: Remarks by Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius at the press conference on Sustainable Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (21 February 2023)

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