Conserving fish stocks

Responsibly-sourced seafood lies at the heart of a sustainable 21st-century seafood industry.

In partnership with the fishing and aquaculture industries, we are involved in a number of important initiatives to protect fish stocks for future generations. We also monitor the progress of wider industry initiatives and key legislation relating to the protection of fish stocks.

There are several key issues which have to be addressed if we are to ensure a continued supply of responsibly sourced seafood:

Another major development which is having a significant impact on the protection of fish stocks in Europe is the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Under the auspices of the CFP, the EU sets catch limits for each Member State and enables Member States to work together to ensure that fish stocks in shared waters are not overfished.


Discards are those parts of the catch which are returned to the sea.

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing

Unauthorised fishing and all fishing activities that are a serious breach of national, regional or international rules or laws are termed Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Data limited fisheries

Data limited fisheries are those fisheries where stock assessments are not feasible, yet they provide continuing yields for fisheries.

The Common Fisheries Policy

Of course, fish do not respect international boundaries and move freely in the oceans. This makes it difficult for individual EU countries to manage fish stocks in isolation.