Europe and Central Asia
5 Jun 2020

Setting the right safety net: Fisheries support policies response to Covid-19

© Paul Einerhand / Unsplash
By Naima Crotti

The Covid-19 global pandemic requires emergency action to address immediate health concerns and to cushion economic impacts. Yet, such emergency action must be taken in the context of a wider plan for Europe’s future and guided by an ambitious European Green Deal to avoid exacerbating the pre-existing climate and nature crises while dealing with the pandemic.

We need to remedy the broken relationships that endanger our planet and deepen inequalities within our society. The ocean is the source of all life, yet we are putting it under unrelenting pressure. Easing that pressure and restoring ocean health will deliver enhanced resilience to the impacts of climate change and safeguard key natural elements that may equip us with countless more solutions to future and unexpected challenges. While disruption in seafood supply chains has brought temporary relief to wild fish populations, this should not be celebrated. This environmental improvement has not come about due to any deliberate transition plan for workers, nor will any environmental relief prove lasting once the public health crisis passes. Environmental improvement is essential, but it should be achieved in a socially just manner. 

In this paper by BirdLife Europe, ClientEarth, Deutsche Umwelthile, Environmental Justice Foundation, FishSec, Global Fishing Watch, Greenpeace, New Economics Foundation, Oceana Europe, Our Fish, Sciaena, and Seas at Risk we set out ten principles which will provide a framework that should be applied when developing and appraising response policy options, in order to deliver a healthier fishing sector and marine environment.


Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.