Forced labour and deep-sea fishing, critical topics at the upcoming Social Dialogue on Fisheries

30 Jan 2023

On 30 January, the Social Partners of Sea Fisheries will meet to discuss – among other things – forced labour in the sector and deep-sea fishing.

The Sea Fisheries Social Partners – ETF and Europeche – have repeatedly asked the European Commission in the previous years to take action against forced labour and labour abuses in the fisheries sector. Last year the Commission finally published a proposal for a Regulation banning products deriving from forced labour. The ETF welcomed this initiative, and we are following up closely with the legislative procedure while also contributing to ensure the Regulation will be fit-for-purpose and effective.

The Social Partners initiated their exchanges with DG Trade, and on 30 January, they will discuss and possibly adopt a joint resolution stating that, when it comes to fish products, this initiative has to go hand in hand with the IUU Regulation.

The Sea Fisheries Social Partners are discussing deep-sea fishing and the social implication of its limitation. This is why a study conducted by the University of Santiago de Compostela experts on the socio-economic analysis and impact of Regulation (EU) 2022/1614 implementing the Deep-sea access regulation will be presented at the upcoming social dialogue meeting. We will exchange best practices/experiences at the national level and discuss possible problems and solutions arising from the limitations of such fishing operations at sea.