Major fishing nations commit to ending fleet overcapacity

Oceana welcomes this international call to tackle one of the main drivers of resource overexploitation

Press Release Date: March 14, 2014

Location: Madrid


Marta Madina | email: | tel.: Marta Madina

Thessaloniki, Greece – Today, a joint statement committing to adopt measures to tackle global fleet overcapacity was signed by the EU and major fishing nations including the United States, Colombia, Japan, Philippines and Indonesia. This initiative revives and strengthens the international commitment to address this problem, which was signed in 1999 but has since been abandoned.

With around 87% of the world’s fisheries overexploited, global action to address the problem of overcapacity is essential to restoring some of the world’s fisheries.

Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe stated: “This joint declaration constitutes the strongest call in years to put an end to overfishing in the world’s oceans by sustainably managing the fleet and eliminating subsidies that promote overcapacity. Oceana welcomes this step and encourages signatories to put their words into practice by ensuring the effective implementation of this commitment”. 

This initiative was led by the European Commission and the EU Greek Presidency, and shows the ambition of the EU to balance the capacity of its fleet with available resources. The EU has one of the world’s largest fleets (80,000 vessels), including an external fleet that operates in many parts of the world under various international agreements.


Read more about subsidies that promote overcapacity:

The 1999 FAO International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity can be consulted here:

To know more about EU fleet: