A socially sustainable EU Common Fisheries Policy

Speaking up for workers in fisheries, aquaculture and fish processing

The EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has an admirable goal: to preserve and sustainably manage Europe’s fragile fish stocks. However, the CFP has tended to focuses almost exclusively on environmental questions, and has never paid sufficient attention to the human aspects of a sustainable fish supply chain. Workers and their communities also deserve to be a priority in the EU’s fisheries policy.

The journey from sea to plate is a complex network of industries, employing workers on sea and land. That is why the ETF, which represents fishers, has joined with the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) for a joint project. EFFAT represents workers in the aquaculture and fish processing sectors.

The key objective of this project, launched in January 2018, is to develop a joint vision of how to promote and defend workers’ occupational interests all along the fishery supply chain. We are taking a long-term approach, looking at both the implementation of the existing CFP and how to influence the development of the new CFP post-2020.

We are focusing on three core topics:

  • Market, trade and international dimensions of EU fisheries
  • Health and safety, working conditions, organising and collective bargaining in the fish industry
  • Fisheries management and financial instrument

The project is organised around four main events:

  • Three thematic seminars looking at various policy areas of the CFP and the ways they can be improved to take more account of social questions (planned locations are Spain, Italy and France).
  • One final conference in Brussels.

Member organisations of ETF and EFFAT who represent workers in the relevant sectors are the target group for the seminars.

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