Depletion of fish populations, habitat destruction, bycatch of sensitive species, water pollution… Wild fisheries is one of the key drivers of biodiversity loss at sea, according to the 2019 UN IPBES global assessment report on biodiversity. Despite recognition of the issue, however, the latest leaked draft of the upcoming Farm-to-Fork Strategy [1] by the European Commission pays little attention to the harmful environmental impacts of seafood production.

The European Commission recently launched its new Circular Economy Action Plan, as announced in the European Green Deal. As an improvement on the previous circular economy plan, which focused mainly on promoting recycling, the new circular economy now prioritises action on resource-efficient, energy-efficient and toxic-free products as well as waste prevention measures.

Harmful fisheries subsidies can have a devastating impact on the marine environment, yet they remain a key issue in negotiations in the next European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) 2021-2027. This issue is likely to generate much debate in the next and final negotiations between the Parliament and Council of the European Union, who support these harmful subsidies, and the European Commission, who is determined to exclude them.   

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