Europe and Central Asia
14 Jun 2012

Stand up against overfishing – call for sustainable fisheries

By BirdLife Europe

 At the occasion of this year’s European Fish Weeks (June 8 – August 31), BirdLife Europe, Greenpeace, Oceana, WWF and Oceans 2012 have produced a short animation explaining the problem of overfishing, the damages it causes to wildlife and ecosystems, and its consequences for our long term food security. It also highlights the opportunity to end it. You can add your voice to our call for sustainable EU fisheries by:

  • Embedding the animation and promoting it on your websites, newsletters, blogs, etc;
  • Sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Youtube, Vimeo and other Social Media.

(The video is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Polish and Portuguese here)


Every year, around 90 000 tons of fish are captured in the oceans. More than 90% of the 10 most captured fish species are dangerously at risk of extermination and around 50% of commercial species are threatened. Even if aquaculture has permitted to compensate for the stagnation in the catch of wild fish and meet the fast increasing demand for fish, it is far from being a sustainable system: as most commercially farmed fish are carnivores they are fed on wild caught fish. For example, it takes 5kg of wild fish to produce 1kg of farmed salmon.  

Numerous scientific and marine experts have already rung the alarm bell about overfishing: if we continue to exploit fisheries at the current rate, in 2048 there won’t be any more fish left to catch in most of the world’s oceans. The EU is currently negotiating a major reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. EU governments must show the courage to break with their failed policies and ensure an end to over fishing. Fisheries must be regulated so that we don’t catch fish faster than they can reproduce and so that fishing techniques do not cause significant harm to marine ecosystems (for example by killing non target species or destroying sea bottom habitats).

Our long-term food security, our oceans and the marine wildlife depend of it. Urgent action is needed!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

For more information, please contact Elodie Cantaloube, Media and Communication Assistant at BirdLife Europe

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.