According to EJF, the EU used all of its seafood a month earlier than in 2000. Illegal fishing and overfishing have a fatal impact on food security; Thus, transparency in the industry must be improved.
Fish Dependence Day is about one month earlier now compared with the year 2000. Thirty years ago, Europe could meet demand with fish from domestic waters until September or October.
Austria is the first European country to run out of fish, only reaching January 17 before exhausting its own supply. The UK, as a seafaring nation, would reach September 7, still leaving around four long months relying entirely on imports.
Despite the fact that European fish stocks remain stable, too many stocks are still overfished, and the EU self-efficiency is still too low. Based on EU Commission's statement, 41% of assessed fish stocks in the Atlantic are considered overfished. This figure rises to 88% in the Mediterranean. Overfishing also affects fish stocks in developing countries, which depend on this valuable resource.
Moreover, Europe depends heavily on fish imports, especially from developing countries. Thus, EU has a lead role to boost transparency and sustainability on a global scale.
In addition, averagely:
- Each European citizen consumes 22.7 kg of seafood products each year.
- Portugal (55.3 kg), Spain (46.2 kg), Lithuania (44.7 kg), France (34.4 kg), and Sweden (33.2 kg) have the highest consumption rates in the EU. These five countries in combination are about the one third of EU fish consumption.
Only four countries produce as much or more than they consume (Croatia, Netherlands, Ireland and Estonia). The vast majority of EU countries depend on fish imports.