The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2022 the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) and on this 21 November World Fisheries Day was celebrated. It is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of fisheries, the threats to their sustainability, and the urgency with which we need to act to protect them.
While fish are an important natural resource, populations are also finite and decades of overfishing have resulted in the decline of some fish stocks. As a global ocean actor and a major producer of seafood, the European Union (EU) has a responsibility to protect and sustainably use the ocean and its resources. It is also in the EU's socio-economic interest to guarantee the availability of food supplies, the competitiveness of the maritime economy and the livelihood of coastal communities. 
In order to make sure the European fishing industry is sustainable and fair, the EU Common Fisheries Policy sets a number of rules for managing European fishing fleets and catches. Each country’s fishing fleet is monitored in a national register and a capacity ceiling of total vessel engine power and total vessel weight is established. The type of fishing gear is also monitored and, in some European seas, there are requirements for selective gear to reduce unwanted bycatch. Explore the Map of the Week to see the distribution of different fishing gear used by the fleets of EU and EEA countries.
The data in the map are provided by Eurostat.