Out of sight, out of mind

Posted on 15 November 2019

A comprehensive review of the CFP’s external dimension and links to achieving the UN SDGs
Through Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPAs) or other forms of agreements, the EU fishing fleet engages in extensive fishing activities in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of other countries. Vessels operating in these territories are known as the distant water or external fleet. 

It is, however, difficult to evaluate the sustainability of the EU’s external fishing practices due to lack of formal documentation and scientific data as well as many cases of misreporting and continued problems of Illegal,
Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. The United Nations Agenda 2030 and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a useful framework to evaluate the contribution of the CFP’s external dimension to implementing sustainable development.

This report undertakes a comprehensive review of the CFP’s external dimension, the SDGs and the role of SFPAs and RFMOs clearly illustrating where strengths and deficiencies lie when considering Europe’s fishing activities outside of EU waters. Recommendations highlight specific areas for improvement to move the EU’s external fleet towards a more sustainable future as outlined by the SDGs.
The EU's external fishing activity and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
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