As highlighted in WWF's Living Planet Report (2018), our ocean remains in crisis and the situation desperately needs change in order to reverse the trend of global biodiversity decline. The European Union's (EU) fisheries footprint spans our planet. With active fishing in every ocean and with the highest number of seafood imports, it is the world's largest seafood market. Recognising that a healthy ocean increases resilience and creates more stable conditions for the viability of the fisheries sector, Europe has a long-established Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which governs all European fisheries in the waters of EU Member States (MS), in international waters and through fishing agreements in non-European waters around the world.
Following the most recent reform in 2013, the CFP now aims to make fisheries environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. The CFP defines the sustainable management of marine ecosystems and fish stocks. It is based on scientific evidence for a concrete biological understanding of the state of stocks, and refers to socio-economic data before establishing fisheries catch quotas. Successive to this, an accountable, transparent and fair set of rules for fishers must be enforced by promoting a culture of compliance and by applying deterring sanctions for wrongdoers.