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Commercial Fishing



EU promotes ocean governance at UN. The United Nations General Assembly has adopted two resolutions concerning the oceans and the Law of the Sea and sustainable fisheries, in line with the EU’s agenda on ocean governance.

By adopting these resolutions, the General Assembly calls on the international community to beef up implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and harmonize national legislation with it. It also reaffirms the importance of long-term conservation, management and sustainable use of the living marine resources.

An EU statement says: “Strong ocean governance is a priority for the EU. Most if not all of the problems our ocean is faced with (climate change, pollution, overfishing…) are global by nature. We therefore need a common response from the global community, through international consensus and cooperation. As countries are turning increasingly towards the blue economy to support their development, strong action is more needed than ever.

“The EU therefore played an active role negotiating both resolutions. It underlined the importance of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as the overarching legal framework for ocean governance and its continuing contribution to rule of law, peaceful relations and sustainable development. The EU also welcomed the good progress achieved in the negotiations of the new UNCLOS implementing agreement for areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), better known as the ‘high seas’.”

The EU also reiterated its strong commitment to conclude negotiations on fisheries subsidies in the context of the World Trade Organisation. It emphasized that harmful subsidies, which contributed to overfishing, overcapacity and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing are a major impediment to the achievement of sustainable fisheries.