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Oceans and fisheries

Ensuring security and safety at sea

In line with its maritime security strategy, the EU continues to strengthen its role as a maritime security provider within and beyond its borders.

The Strategic Compass also confirms the EU's determination to invest in maritime security and in its global presence to ensure unfettered access to the sea lanes of communication and uphold the international law of the sea. It sets out the EU's intention to make full use of its maritime partnership policy, e.g. through port calls, joint exercises and capacity building.

The EU will respond swiftly to any threats to maritime security, cooperating with its partners such as NATO. Building on its experience in combating transnational criminal activities at sea, the EU has decided to extend implementation of the coordinated maritime presences (CMP) in the Gulf of Guinea for two additional years and to launch a new implementation of the CMP in the North-Western Indian Ocean. The EU will also consider applying the CMP concept in other potential maritime areas of interest (MAIs). In addition, it will continue to help build third countries’ capacities to monitor their maritime domain and ensure maritime security and law enforcement capabilities.

The fishing and seafaring sectors are characterised by challenging, hazardous and high-risk working conditions. The number of fatalities and injuries remains unacceptably high. Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to precarious conditions, abusive practices and unequal treatment.

Through its international ocean governance agenda and common fisheries policy, the EU promotes decent work in fisheries in line with the objectives of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The EU will continue promoting the ratification and effective implementation of the ILO Work in Fishing Convention No. 188, and other relevant international standards.

The EU and its Member States are also at the forefront of improving maritime safety legislation and promoting high-quality standards at global level in the IMO and at EU level too.

The safety and security of the transport system is paramount, and the EU remains a world leader on this. EU legislation on flag state responsibilities, port state control and accident investigation contributes to safe, secure and efficient maritime transport.