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Maritime Forum

Map of the Week – Employment in marine fisheries, aquaculture and processing

The Map of the Week shows employment information regarding extraction (i.e., fisheries and aquaculture) and commercialisation of marine living resources in the European Union.

Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. At the international level, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that more than 32,000 fishers die annually while doing their job and points out that decent and safe working conditions and safety training can significantly reduce accidents in commercial fishing. [1] In 2020, the FAO, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) published a brochure that provides a summary overview of four international binding fisheries instruments that promote the safety of fishing vessels, safety of fishers, training of fishers, and responsible and safe fisheries operations with a view to promoting their ratification and their implementation [2] :

  1. The IMO (2012) Cape Town Agreement (CTA);
  2. The IMO (1995) International Convention on Training, Certification and for Fishing Vessels Personnel (STCW-F);
  3. The ILO (2007) Work in Fishing Convention (C188); and
  4. The (2009) FAO Agreement on Port States Measures to Prevent Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA)

The FAO, IMO and ILO also developed several instruments, voluntary in nature, to promote safety of fishing vessels and fishers including, for example, the Code of Safety for Fishermen and Fishing Vessels. [3] The FAO also published a manual on Safety at sea for small-scale fishers.

The European Union is the sixth largest producer of fishery and aquaculture products in the world, covering around 3% of global production. It has about 59,000 active vessels landing about 4.5 million tonnes of seafood, while the aquaculture sector reached a production of 1.2 million tonnes in 2018. [4] The European Maritime Safety Agency’s Annual Overview of Marine Casualties and incidents 2020 indicates that a total of 3,455 fishing vessels were involved in a marine casualty or incident over the period 2014-2019. [5] The latest Euronews Ocean episode addresses working conditions in fishery and explains how European Union support helps improve the working conditions and safety of fishermen and fisherwomen.

Explore the Map of the Week to learn more about employment in marine fisheries, aquaculture and processing in the European Union.

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The data in this map are provided by the European Commission.