A new report from the UN expert group on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has found that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history with many species facing extinction at accelerating rates. According to the report, the oceans are no exception to this trend caused by changes in sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species. The European fishing industry, while acknowledging the potential risks for the marine environment, stresses that fishing poses no threat for the long-term preservation of marine resources. Proof of that is that thanks to fisheries management and industry-led efforts, fish stocks have been generally increasing in many areas such as the North East Atlantic, currently reaching levels 36% higher than in 2003. This positive trend shows that UN’s extinction warning particularly for fish populations is a bit far-fetched.
Earlier this year, a group of researches claimed that fishing activities occurred in 55% of the world’s oceans . As a result, their study found that the area fished is four times bigger than the area occupied by agriculture in terms of square kilometres. Europêche then argued that the study was based on scientifically unsound data , overestimating the proportion of the seabed where fishing occurs. A new scientific research developed by the Department of Marine Sciences and Fisheries of the University of Washington evidences this by showing that when low-resolution data are replaced by high-resolution data, the true footprint of fishing is revealed to be less than 4%. Science confirms that fishing continues to hold the first place as the lowest impact production method.
After tracking the satellite messages transmitting the position of 70.000 fishing vessels for the past 4 years, a group of researches  claim that commercial fishing covers over 55% of the ocean's surface. As a result, their study states that the area fished is four times bigger than the area occupied by agriculture in terms of square kilometres. Europêche argues that the study does not provide any new insight since fishing vessel monitoring systems have been widely implemented and enforced across the oceans for decades showing the exact location of our vessels to the competent authorities. In addition, the report is based on scientifically unsound data, overestimates the proportion of the seabed where fishing occurs and has little use for fisheries management.