The EU fisheries policy must balance the interests of fishermen, trade and the manufacturing industry on the one hand and the requirements of environmental protection and nature conservation on the other.
Long-term stability in the fishing industry is dependent on healthy marine ecosystems. The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy on the European level in 2002 was a step in the right direction towards sustainable fishing. This includes management and stock recovery plans for various fish species or measures to combat illegal fishing. The BMEL is pushing for the further reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, in particular the introduction of a discard ban for non-useable fish and a landing ban for unwanted by-catches.
On the international level the BMEL advocates the preservation of living marine resources, for instance whales or the protection of the marine environment.