From sea to plate: a socially sustainable fisheries sector for Europe

15 Nov 2018

Europe’s fish supplies depend on many kinds of worker: fishers, aquaculture staff and food processing workers. So how can unions work together in the fishing industry to make sure that all workers in the fish supply chain are treated fairly?

34 participants from 8 countries gathered in Mestre, Italy, on 14-15 November to discuss how unions can contribute to the improved health and safety, working conditions, organising and collective bargaining in the fish industry. The participants shared their best practices, and brainstormed possible new ways to influence European and national policies. Their proposals to imporve working conditions included:

  • Advocating for the ratification and implementation of the Work in Fishing Convention
  • Stronger inspections and training
  • Gathering feedback from the workers on suitable equipment.

Involvement in risk assessment was also considered as an important means of limiting accidents.

The seminar was part of the joint ETF-EFFAT project: ‘A socially sustainable Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Workers’ organisations’ participation in the fisheries, aquaculture and processing sector’, co-financed by the European Commission. In June the participants met in Malaga, Spain, for the first seminar focused on the international aspects of fisheries and trade. The third project seminar will take place next February in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, and will be dedicated to financial instruments and fisheries management.

The outcomes of the seminars will be translated into policy demands for the upcoming review of the Common Fisheries Policy, and will be presented at a final conference in Brussels.