Answer to Written Question: Introduction of a European sustainable fisheries label independent of the fishing industry
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius
on behalf of the European Commission
There are several sustainability labels on the EU (and international) seafood market, most of them managed by private schemes. Generally, most of these schemes are governed by publicly available standards based on a number of different sustainability criteria. Given the private nature of the schemes, the Commission is not involved in the control and certification processes, as is the case for private sustainability schemes in other sectors. The Commission is currently working on two initiatives that will aim at introducing regulatory requirements for sustainability claims and sustainability labels horizontally across all industries: a legislative proposal on substantiating green claims and a legislative proposal empowering consumers in the green transition.
As regards the potential introduction of an EU seafood ecolabel, the Commission adopted a report to the European Parliament and Council on the feasibility of a regulatory ecolabel scheme in May 2016. At that time, Member States held different views as to the preferred way forward and following several debates, the Council did not proceed to any conclusions. The European Parliament decided not to take any action on this report.
The Commission is currently working on a proposal for revising its marketing standards on fishery and aquaculture products. In the current policy context of the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Commission envisages as a possible policy option to incorporate a sustainability element in the revised standards. The objective of that option would be to provide transparency to operators in the supply chain and consumers on certain key sustainability aspects of a product by means of robust indicators in a controlled regulatory framework.