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Sectoral social dialogue - Sea fisheries

Social partners

Employees' organisations Employers' organisations
European Transport Workers' Federation Association of national organisations of fishing enterprises in the EU
  Fisheries section of COGECA - General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the European Union

Social dialogue in this sector covers:

  • fishing
  • aquaculture.

The EU is the world’s second largest fishing power after China, with almost 7 million tonnes of fish produced from fisheries and aquaculture (some 5% of the world total).

Challenges to the sector include:

  • over-fishing, leading to smaller stocks, smaller landings and lower incomes, and which is the main threat to the future of fish stocks and the fishing industry itself
  • increased competition due to the globalisation of the market in fish products
  • health and safety in the fisheries sector. Social partners aim to reduce the high number of accidents at sea and to increase onboard safety.

Focus areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • the International Labour Organisation Convention on work in the fisheries sector
  • follow-up measures under the new integrated maritime policy
  • health and safety issues
  • application of the social clause in fisheries agreements with non-EU countries and mutual recognition of qualifications at EU level
  • promoting the implementation at EU level of the international convention on fishermen's training on health and safety issues
  • the social impact of the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (to be adopted by the EU by 2014).

Activities and meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee


  • Agreement on the transposition of ILO Convention n°188 on work in fishing (2012)
  • Handbook for the prevention of accidents at sea and the safety of fishermen (2007)

See also "European sectoral social dialogue – recent developments" (2010 brochure).