EU's small-scale fisheries, & its Landing Obligation

The European Unions Common Fisheries Policy Landing Obligation aims to tackle fishery discards, which presents issues for sustainable management. Although introduced in 2015, questions over its implementation and impacts on the various fishing sectors remain.

Port William Harbour, Scotland. Credit James Johnstone/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Port William Harbour, Scotland. Credit James Johnstone/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Europe’s small-scale fisheries are typically coastal vessels, averaging 5 meters – 7 meters in length, often utilizing a relatively low-level of technology compared to larger industrial fisheries. Contributing some 25 per cent of all EU fisheries revenue, small-scale fisheries employs 40 per cent of EU fishers, and provides valuable income for coastal communities. Despite the EU recognising the importance of small-scale fisheries, little has been done to assess the implications of the Landing Obligation for this sector. Consulting with a range of "experts”, including fishery scientists, industry representatives, and NGOs, Dr Sebastian Villasante (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain) and colleagues explore what the Landing Obligation could mean for this diverse fishery sector.

This article was written for (and can be read in full at) The Fish Site.