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Bilateral Engagement with the European Union

Because we share with other nations one very large ocean and fish swim across national boundaries, the long-term sustainability of the world’s fisheries can only be achieved through effective international cooperation. In support of this goal, NOAA seeks to ensure that management of global fish stocks is science-based, that legitimate fishermen do not have to compete with those who break the rules, and that a steady supply of safe, legal, and sustainable seafood is available to meet consumer demand into the future. 

The European Union (EU) is a critical partner in this endeavor. As two of the world’s largest harvesters of seafood and two of the largest importers, the United States and the EU seek to assure consumers that their seafood, whether domestically produced or imported, has been legally and sustainably harvested. The EU and the U.S. have committed to domestic actions to end overfishing and rebuild depleted stocks through a variety of innovative management approaches and will continue to strengthen regional partnerships to advance these goals for international fisheries. Below are some of our joint activities.


2014 high level dialogue participants in Brussels
Advancing Shared Vision for Global Sustainable Fisheries

NOAA and Department of State representatives met with European counterparts March 26-27, 2014 in Brussels to continue collaboration on our shared vision for sustainable global fisheries. The United States recognizes it is critical to work with key partners like the European Union to ensure sustainable management of our shared marine resources.

Future joint efforts will include a focus on international activities that identify and prevent illegal fishing, protect sharks, begin to reduce the current global overcapacity of fishing vessels, and use the best available science to guide fishery management decisions.


Combatting Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) Fishing

Unsustainable fisheries practices can put the world's fisheries, our food security, and coastal communities at risk. In 2011the United States and EU formally committed to work together to combat IUU fishing by the signing of a joint statement. Since then, our two governments have worked closely to combat IUU fishing., including through information sharing, working together in various regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), and coordinating efforts to help countries build capacity to manage their fisheries and enforce their laws.

More Information on IUU Fishing

Promoting Sustainable Management of Marine Resources

Both the United States and the European Union are committed to promoting the sustainable management of fisheries resources, both domestically and internationally. NOAA has provided input to the EU as they reform their Common Fisheries Policy Exit. In addition, we work closely together in international fora to promote sustainable management of marine resources. Read more

Cooperation in Research Activities

NOAA and the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC) signed an Implementation Arrangement to guide cooperation in key research activities aligned with NOAA’s mission, including climate, weather, oceans, and coasts. NOAA Fisheries and JRC plan to hold a symposium on fisheries monitoring and assessment challenges and opportunities in 2014. Read more...

US/EC High Level Fisheries Consultation

NOAA, along with the Department of State and the US Coast Guard, meets annually with the EU’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) to discuss topics of common interest, including: IUU fishing, science, capacity management, bycatch, the UN General Assembly and Food and Agriculture Organization, and RFMOs. Read more


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