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Committed to supporting small-scale fishers as actors of change for fair fisheries, healthy seas and vibrant communities.

We are the united voice of the Low Impact Fishers of Europe

Small-Scale Fishers as a solution towards sustainability The potential of small-scale fishers to contribute to environmental sustainability and related social and economic sustainability in European coastal areas is an opportunity missed. If given greater attention by policy makers, and given greater opportunities in European seas, the small-scale fishing fleet could be a game changer. 

European fish stocks suffer from chronic overfishing, with around 40% of Atlantic stocks being fished at above sustainable levels, and 85-90% in the case of Mediterranean fish stocks. Small-scale fishing fleets are micro- or nano- family-owned businesses, catching and landing fresh high-quality fish on a daily basis (“catch of the day”), with the owner and family members as fishing crews. 

Due to historic neglect and injustices, SSF are only able to access 5 to 10% of the fishing opportunities while accounting for the majority of the European fleet. European fisheries policies promote larger scale more industrialised fishing activities, to the detriment of coastal communities, fishery resources, and the marine environment.

small scale fishing

The Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE) is a response to the overfished, stock depleted, and unfair situation in European seas. 

Low impact fishers of Europe

LIFE works at EU level, at regional sea-basin level (Baltic and North Sea, North and South Atlantic and Mediterranean and Black Sea), and at national level. It engages directly with EU institutions (functionaries and MEPs), regional fisheries management bodies (GFCM, ICCAT), consultative committees (Regional Advisory Committees) and national governments.

There is strength in unity and what unites LIFE members is that we can develop common solutions to common problems and call on the massive talent and experience of literally thousands of fishers to contribute to the sustainable development of  the sector.

Small-scale Fisher organizations represented

Small-scale Fisher organizations represented

EU member States

EU member States

Small-scale Fishers across all sea basins in Europe

Small-scale Fishers across all sea basins in Europe

small scale fishers

Our approach

LIFE is proposing a solution that aims to  transform the system, tackling the main causes of the problem (inequitable policies) at once, through:

+ networking
+ partnership establishment
+ advocacy
+ capacity building efforts

sustainable fishing

Become a member

Joining LIFE is being part of a community sharing the same values, goals and challenges and cooperating to ensure a better future of the sector. Our members are actively involved in the European decision-making process and receive constant guidance on the latest’s developments at institutional level, including on policies and funds.

low impact fishing

Support us

LIFE depends almost entirely on grants and donations from institutions and individuals.

However, there are many other ways in which you can support us and help us make a difference towards vibrant communities, fair fisheries and healthy seas. 



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