News // Latest News


PFA participates in Virtual Reality project to bring emergencies training to a higher level

1 December 2021

Safety on-board and high social standards is a top priority for the PFA and its members. Therefore, we are continuously looking to improve our already very high standard for working conditions and safety protocols on board.

That is why the PFA, together with some EU fishing industry partners, participates in the Virtual Reality for Maritime Emergencies project (VR-ME). The VR-ME project aims to develop a realistic environment based on a trawler fishing vessel, accessible through a Virtual Reality kit.


Emergency situations on board of fishing vessels are stressful situations in which the crew must follow specific guidelines and procedures to assure their safety. In this project, we have the objective to develop a safety procedures training that uses VR to present our crew with a series of scenarios, such as abandoning the vessel, firefighting and launching a life raft. This way, it will become easier to offer more safety training, and to do so in a way that is also more safe in itself.

Cor Blonk is involved on behalf of the PFA and emphasizes the importance of the project:


“It is of paramount importance to be familiar with the safety procedures on board in order to be able to act quickly and decisively in case of an emergency. Acting quickly and correctly can limit the consequences of an emergency and avoid or minimize injury and damage, especially at sea where help is not readily available. With virtual reality we add a tool that allows our fishers to train emergency situations in a safe environment where one can still have the feeling of being involved 'in real life'. Emergency training not only helps the fishers with knowledge and skills on how to act, but also give fishers more self-confidence to take action in a real emergency situation.

The first test results are promising. Based on the first tests, the scenarios will be developed further, after which we will test them with (prospective) fishers in France, Spain and the Netherlands. Eventually, this should lead to a training programme that will be available free of charge late 2022. The only thing needed is Oculus Quest VR-glasses.“

For more info visit the website Virtual Reality for Maritime Emergencies, where you can sign up for the newsletter, or follow the project on LinkedIn and/or Twitter (@VRME_EU).

Other project partners:



PFA conducts genetic research on populations of pelagic fish

16 November 2021

PFA conducts genetic research on populations of pelagic fish


Strengthening the knowledge base on populations of pelagic fish like herring and horse mackerel is important to the management of stocks and therefore also for the PFA.


Since 2015 we have been investing into genetic research on the different populations of herring and horse mackerel. While substantial progress has been made on the genetic techniques to discriminate between populations, an important bottleneck remained with regards to the collection of genetic samples.

Such data collection was very laborious and therefore quite difficult to organize. In collaboration with different fishing industry partners, genetic experts and a laboratory tools supplier, a breakthrough has been achieved in the collection of genetic samples. Genetic tissue can now be extracted from individual fish with simple, ready-made test tubes.


In the picture, the PFA Chief Science Officer Martin Pastoors is taking some genetic tissue samples of herring at the Lab facilities of Wageningen Marine Research. This opens up exciting new ways of addressing questions about the mixing of different populations in different seasons and areas.


Accumulating knowledge and data for further scientific research is essential for a responsible and sustainable fishery targeting pelagic fish stocks. The PFA and their members are committed to collaborate with science so that future generations can also benefit from the sea as a source of food and income.


Fishing sector and educators work together for sustainable fishing training

9 November 2021

The PFA is a partner in the project Catching The Potential, a cooperative effort of the fishing sector and educators to develop and implement an effective, international standard for sustainable fishing training for fishers.


On Tuesday 4 and Friday 5 November project partners from Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands, together with representatives from the Dutch fisheries school joined a seminar to share views on and experiences in sustainable fisheries. The participants experienced a taste of the Dutch sustainable fishing course ‘Fishing with future’ and a visit to the fish auction and a fishing vessel in IJmuiden.


The PFA takes part in Catching The Potential to share the knowledge gained in 'Fishing with a Future' with international partners and to contribute to the realisation of a standard for sustainable fishing in international conventions, such as the STCW-F. This concerns education not only on the management of fish stocks, but also on sustainable business operations and the position of fishers.


More information can be found at or visit our partners:


European CommissionEuropêche, Catching The PotentialCEFCM Novikontas Training Center,  Bord Iascaigh Mhara - Ireland's Seafood Development AgencyCentro Tecnológico del Mar FUNDACIÓN CETMAREnaleia Berufsbildungszentrum am Nord-Ostsee-KanalProSea Marine Education 


World Fisheries Congress 2021: fisheries responsible for monitoring

23 September 2021

This week marks the 8th World Fisheries Congress held this year – online - in Adelaide, Australia. It is the largest congress bringing together the global fisheries community to explore, discuss and debate key innovations, latest research, challenges and opportunities facing the global fisheries community today. PFA’s own Chief Science Officer Martin Pastoors was invited to this congress to give an insightful presentation on monitoring approaches initiated within pelagic fisheries.


The European pelagic fishing industry is committed to improve monitoring activities of our fisheries by introducing a comprehensive self-sampling program. The program aims at generating and contributing to existing data on fishing activities, catch compositions and specific biological observations for scientific evaluations. The presentation aimed to highlight the benefits and drawbacks (challenges) from including fishers in monitoring fishing operations. The information was based on experiences in pelagic fisheries in Europe.


Working closely with fishing industries to monitor catches and fishing operations is an effective mechanism for monitoring. New types of industry information become available and it also helps to harness new data sources and knowledge for improved scientific understanding.


The ambition of the PFA is to maintain a sustainable fishery for pelagic fish stocks, both now and in the future. Collaboration with science and research is an important requirement for that ambition. We are proud that with the pioneering work of our Chief Science Officer Martin Pastoors, the PFA takes a leading role in accumulating knowledge and data for further scientific research.


Find more information about our research program on our research page.




EU fishing industry calls for immediate EU action against Norway and Faroe Islands

2 September 2021



EU fishing industry calls for immediate EU action against Norway and Faroe Islands to stop their overfishing of the Northeast Atlantic mackerel stock

The EU fishing industry is calling for immediate EU action to stop Norway and Faroe Islands in their massive overfishing of the Northeast Atlantic mackerel stock. We reiterate our call on the EU Commission and Council to act swiftly and decisively on this reckless and irresponsible behaviour by using the instruments at its disposal such as trade measures and the IUU regulation.

In May of this year first Norway and then Faroe Islands decided to unilaterally increase their share in the mackerel fishery by 55% each. Now the fleets of Norway and Faroe Islands, but also the fleets of Iceland, Russia and Greenland, are massively targeting mackerel with as many vessels as possible. To a large extent their fisheries also take place in international waters. If this reckless and irresponsible behaviour continues with these coastal states fully utilising es their inflated, unjustified quota shares, the total mackerel catch will be 42% higher than the scientific advice that was agreed in November 2020 by all parties.

Gerard van Balsfoort, chair of the EU pelagic industry, organized under the banner of EAPO and Europêche, comments: “The EU cannot and should not let this form of extreme overfishing continue by these coastal states which is contrary to UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and particularly the 1995 Stradling Stocks Agreement. I find it incredible that at the same time as acting in such an irresponsible manner they portray themselves to be sustainable and responsible nations. There is no way Norway can defend itself for taking almost 300,000 tons or 35% of the scientifically advised total mackerel quota of 852,000 tons and then fish most of it in the international waters outside their 200 miles zone. Norway happily continues to export huge amounts of their seafood, including farmed salmon, to the EU market as if this is business as usual. The EU must immediately start using its power as the world’s largest import market for seafood and take action to stop such reckless and irresponsible behaviour”.


Click here for the PDF


Gerard van Balsfoort /

T +31 651 411 431 /




WorldFish & FAO: Aquatic food important to secure global food security

14 July 2021

Aqua foods offer great game-changing solutions to help realise global food security. During a webinar of UN Food Systems Summit Science Day, a side event hosted by WorldFish and FAO, many researchers in aquatic foods gave their view on how aquatic food systems can achieve the goals of the 2030 agenda. The goal is to nourish all people in a sustainable way.


The role of aquatic food is very important in the food systems transformation. Especially because  people are consuming aquatic food more than ever. This means that fish consumption has a large net contribution to food and nutritious security in the world.


Aquatic foods play an essential role in reducing hunger and poverty. The world population is growing to 10 billion people, and effective and sustainable food systems are these days more important than ever. There are several arguments why aquatic foods can play a role in this. One of them is that aquatic food has a much lower carbon impact than productions on land. In addition, the nutritional value of fish products beyond protein is also very significant, although this is not well-recognized in many food systems strategies.


FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division director Manuel Barange emphasized that the aquatic sector is fully recognizing the contribution to fight poverty, hunger, malnutrition and commitment to sustainability. He pointed out that it is important to educate consumers and developing a vision where aquatic food is part of a solution and not just a part of the problem. He said that we need to promote the dialogue and collaboration between all stakeholders to enhance sustainability.


World Prize-awarded nutrition scientist Shakuntala Thilsted and FAO Food Security & Nutrition Specialist Molly Ahern spoke about the role of aquatic foods in sustainable healthy diets. They pointed out that current food systems fail to recognize the diversity of aqua foods and their potential for sustainable healthy diets. The nutritional value of fish have the potential to benefit during people’s lifetime. Eating fish causes significant benefits to cognitive development and reducing blood pressure and cholesterol.


Aqua foods such as small fish, including small pelagic fish such as herring and mackerel, are full of vitamins and minerals that are important for human health. The PFA is pleased that in this way the health benefits of pelagic fish are being promoted by globally recognized scientists. 


All the presentations of nourishing people and planet with aquatic foods can be viewed via the WorldFish YouTube channel:



World Population Day: PFA members make substantial contribution to global food security

11 July 2021

Today 11 July is World Population Day. This day aims to increase people's awareness on the growing world population.


Fifty years ago, there were 3 billion people to feed. Nowadays, that is already 7.7 billion people and in thirty years this will probably be around 10 billion people.


The United Nations wants the world to be hunger-free by 2030. However, with the ever-growing global population on our planet, this is a major challenge.


How do PFA-members make a substantial contribution to global food security?


  • The PFA-members fish only for human consumption;
  • PFA members provide on average 6 million fish meals per day;
  • 5.5 million of this fish meals is sent to markets outside Europe, especially those with a low average income such as Ghana, Egypt and Nigeria;
  • That is 2.5 billion fish meals in a year;
  • Pelagic fish is high quality, healthy and affordable fish;
  • Pelagic fish contains a lot of proteins with high level omega 3 fatty acids;
  • Pelagic fish is because of the large amount of vitamins and minerals essential for a good human health;
  • The World Food prize of this year will be awarded to a nutrition scientist because of her research about positive contribution of aqua food to human health;
  • Pelagic fisheries by PFA is done in a sustainable way - Catch with Care;
  • Pelagic fish such as herring have the lowest CO2 footprint compared to any other animal protein;
  • PFA is well-advanced in the self-sampling of its fisheries. The collected data are inserted in stock assessment of pelagic stocks;
  • PFA works closely with marine research institutes and NGO’s;


PFA contributes to achieve global food security: now and in the future.


/media/afbeeldingen/PFA World Population Day image.jpg


Gerard van Balsfoort keynote speaker City University of London

14 June 2021

Gerard van Balsfoort keynote speaker City University of London


This week, Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association (PFA) president Gerard van Balsfoort had been the keynote speaker on a webinar of The City of Law School – University of London. This webinar was part of a workshop about Legal Challenges Faced by Coastal and Fishing Communities, Brexit, and the New British Fisheries Policy.


This workshop aimed to bring together different leading fisheries experts from academia, industry, and policy to share their expertise, views and experience on the challenges and consequences that Brexit brought after the United Kingdom left the Common Fisheries Policy.


In his role as a leading person in the EU fishing industry (chair European Union Fisheries Alliance / vice-president Europêche), Van Balsfoort spoke about what Brexit has brought the UK and EU fishing industries with the title: Why is (almost) everybody complaining?


He noted that after Brexit virtually everyone in the EU and UK seafood industries  - with the notable exception of the Scottish pelagic fishing companies – was complaining and found themselves in a rather dire situation. He also noted that the UK as a new coastal state in the Northeast Atlantic really has stirred up an already complex fisheries management system. We have seen one consequence of this already by the unilateral increase by Norway and the Faroe Islands of their respective mackerel shares with 55%.


Van Balsfoort pointed to the fact that the EU and the UK share a very large number of fish stocks that need joint, proper management and that would only be possible by accepting that both parties are heavily interlinked with many mutual dependencies: one is more dependent on access to the other party’s waters and the other more on access to the other party’s market. To be constructive, collaborative and reasonable is the only way forward to avoid a situation that fish stocks are badly managed.

He concluded by stating that:


  1. the UK government badly failed in its expectation management towards its own fishing industry which has led to overpromising and underdelivering. This needs time to heal.
  2. the process by which the UK will find its place as a new coastal state among the other coastal states in the Northeast Atlantic will take time. During this time a turbulent situation in the Northeast Atlantic, when it comes to fisheries management, is to be expected.
  3. the EU has for the first time played strongly and successfully trade as a trump card during the negotiations on the Brexit fisheries agreement. As far as the EU fishing industry is concerned trade will be centrally placed in future fisheries negotiations from now on. In other words, access to the Single Market comes with a price.


The results of this workshop with different webinars will lead to the publication of the “Fisheries in a Post-Brexit World – Economic, Legal and Policy Implications for the UK and the EU” monograph by Routledge.


EU fishermen strongly reject Norway’s unilateral mackerel quota grab and call for immediate EU actio

28 May 2021

28 May 2021


EU fishermen strongly reject Norway’s unilateral mackerel quota grab and call for immediate EU action


The EU pelagic fishing industry, organized under the banners of EAPO and Europêche, strongly rejects the decision made public yesterday by the Norwegian government to unilaterally increase Norway’s share in the mackerel fishery by 55% and is calling on the EU to take immediate action by whatever means to stop it.

Today, Norway decided to go its own way on mackerel by deciding to increase its quota share by 55% from 191,843 tonnes to 298,299 tonnes. The mackerel stock is highly migratory and widely distributed passing through the waters of several coastal states in the Northeast Atlantic. Since 2014, EU, Norway and Faroe Islands have managed to agree on a joint sharing and management arrangement. Unfortunately, Iceland, Russia and Greenland have never been part of this arrangement.

Gerard van Balsfoort, chair of the EU pelagic industry, comments: “Norway’s unilateral increase by 55% of its share in the Northeast Atlantic mackerel fishery is a new low in our fisheries relations and totally undermines the effective management of our shared and widely distributed pelagic stocks. The EU should seriously consider to use its power as the world’s largest import market for seafood to take action to stop such reckless and irresponsible behaviour by Norway”.

Since 1 January this year, the UK has left the EU and became a new and independent coastal state. Everybody knew that this would create new uncertainties for all players in the Northeast Atlantic as the UK had to establish new fisheries relationships with the other coastal states, among them Norway. Until now it has not been possible for the UK to reach a fisheries agreement for 2021 with its direct neighbours Faroe Islands, Norway and the EU. UK’s negotiations with Faroe Islands and Norway have now officially been terminated without an agreement, while negotiations between the UK and EU are still ongoing.

Gerard van Balsfoort concludes that “it is extremely disappointing that Norway, that markets itself and its seafood products worldwide as the nation with the most prudent and responsible fisheries management system, now has chosen to act in such an irresponsible manner. It seems that Norway has left the path of constructive collaboration with other coastal states. The first signal of this was given already around Christmas last year when Norway unilaterally decided to unlawfully grab part of the Svalbard cod quota allocated to the EU for its own benefit”.



Gerard van Balsfoort

T +31 651 411 431



Press release EAPO - Europeche: pdf


World Food Prize 2021 awarded to nutrition scientist WorldFish

14 May 2021


World Food Prize 2021 awarded to nutrition scientist WorldFish


This year’s World Food Prize will be awarded to a nutrition scientist who researched the positive contribution of aqua food to human health. On May 11, it was announced that Dr. Shakuntala Haraksingh Tilsted will receive the prize for her ground-breaking research, critical insights and innovations in aquatic food systems, including fisheries and aquaculture.

Dr. Thilsted was one of the first scientists to establish that small fish is an important source of various essential nutrients and fatty acids. Aqua foods such as small fish, including small pelagic fish such as herring and mackerel, are full of vitamins and minerals that are important for human health. Her research has transformed scientific insights into the nutritional benefits of fish. The research insights of Dr. Thilsted also led to an evolution in the food systems from ‘feeding’ to ‘nourishing’. In other words: from just feeding to the targeted provision of nutrients that ensure a good and healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Thilsted has worked for WorldFish for over ten years. WorldFish is an international non-profit research organization that does a lot of research into aqua food in developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. For more than 45 years, this organizations has been researching how sustainable aquacultures and fishing can contribute to the food of millions of people in these countries.

WorldFish has a long history of projects in Africa, including Nigeria. Fish is very important to this most densely populated country of Africa, because fish consumption accounts for 40% of the country’s total protein intake. The people of Nigeria consume 13.3 kg of fish per person per year. About 40% of this fish is small pelagic fish (Sources: WorldFish, FAO).

Following to the announcement of this prestigious award to Dr. Thilsted, Gerard van Balsfoort, chairman of the Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association, says:

“I am proud that the members of the Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association are able to provide by way of their sustainable and responsible pelagic fishing operations, many millions of healthy protein-rich and affordable fish meals on a daily basis to consumers in many developing countries, including Nigeria.”

The PFA wishes Dr. Thilsted every success with her further research and other activities.

About the World Food Prize

Since 1986, the World Food Prize is an international award recognizing scientist and other individuals for important achievements in the availability and quality of foods. The ceremony will take place in October this year.

Other links:



Infographic: Pelagic fishing is sustainable fishing

23 July 2020

Our latest infographic provides the key facts that support and outline PFA members’ commitment to applying the latest research and cutting edge technology to ensure their fishing operations are sustainable. PFA Infographic.pdf


PFA members work with world-leading scientists and fisheries management experts to ensure that our catch is selective, avoids bycatch and does no damage to the areas in which we fish.


You can find out more about the PFA’s plan of action, research and contribution to sustainable fishing here (link naar


Open letter to Greenpeace UK to join forces for sustainable fisheries

26 June 2020

26-6-2020 Open letter to Greenpeace UK to join forces for sustainable fisheries


The Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association (PFA) has published an open letter calling for Greenpeace UK to enter into a dialogue in the interest of heathy oceans and sustainable fishing operations in UK waters. This call follows the publication of an inaccurate and misleading report by the campaign group on fishing in Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) earlier this month.


Greenpeace’s report contains a number of false statements and inaccuracies about the operations of pelagic freezer trawlers across Europe, all of whom are fishing legally, sustainably and within quota based on scientific advice.


The report also contradicts a Memorandum of Understanding the PFA and its member companies signed with Greenpeace in the Netherlands in August 2016, which is still in function. The MoU recognizes the leading role the PFA and its members take in ensuring sustainable fisheries; both in the collection of scientific data and scientific research on (pelagic) resources; improving selectivity and avoiding bycatch; and in contributing to effective fisheries management in all regions where PFA members have a pelagic fishing operation.


Press release:

PFA press release on open letter to Greenpeace.pdf


Open letter to Greenpeace:

Open letter to Greenpeace UK.pdf


Factsheet fiction versus fact statement:
Fiction versus facts UK MPA.pdf






Artikel vijf jaar self-sampling in de pelagische visserij uit Visserijnieuws 5 juni 2020

9 June 2020

Artikel vijf jaar self-sampling in de pelagische visserij: PFA Selfsampling.pdf


Press release: PFA introduces pingers as precautionary measure to avoid bycatch of dolphins

24 March 2020

Press release PFA: Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association introduces pingers as precautionary measure to avoid bycatch of dolphins
20200312 - press release pingers PFA


EU fishing industry response to COVID-19 crisis

17 March 2020


EU fishing industry response to COVID-19 crisis

20200317 - Industry response Impact of COVID-19 on the fishery sector.pdf


Pelagic fisheries in the Channel by the Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association (PFA)

12 December 2019

20191125 - PFA Factsheet Pelagic fisheries in the Channel - EN -.pdf


Pêches pélagiques dans la Manche, par l’Association des chalutiers-congélateurs de pêche pélagique

12 December 2019

20191125 - PFA Factsheet Peches pelagiques dans la Manche - FR -.pdf




The Dutch Fishing News (VisserijNieuws) published a long-read of the PFA research activities

18 June 2019

The Dutch Fishing News (VisserijNieuws) published a long-read of the PFA research activities of the past 5 years in the special edition on pelagic fishing, 14 June 2019. The article clearly shows the breadth and commitment of activities that the PFA has been engaged in and how that is changing the role of the fishing industry with science. [pdf]


Video release on the industry survey on 6a herring

3 November 2017

During August and September 2017, the second iteration of the industry survey on 6a herring has been carried out by six industry vessels (of which three from PFA members). The survey aims to provide new and better information on the size and composition of herring stocks in the region. The filmmaker Andrew Scott summarized the survey approach in this video.



5 April 2018

Gezamenlijk standpunt inzake vissenwelzijn:


/media/afbeeldingen/20180306 - Gezamenlijke-reactie-Visserijsector-dierenwelzijn-visfederatie-nvb-visned-rvz-juist.pdf


PFA in ICES training course on acoustic surveys

19 June 2017

Martin Pastoors participated in the first ICES training course on acoustic surveys (12-16 June 2017) that was lead by Paul Fernandes (University of Aberdeen) and John Horne (University of Washington) and attracted 25 participants from Europe, USA, Canada and Kenia. The course provided a thorough overview from the basic physics of underwater sound all the way up to the calculation of an age composition in an acoustic trawl survey. It was very instructive to be guided through this whole process. Some ideas that could be picked up in the research within PFA: annual calibration of acoustic equipment on trawlers, using software for integrating multiple frequencies in one screen and training in acoustics for vessel crew.


Article in VisserijNieuws on the hake grid experiments

13 June 2017

In May 2017 we carried out research to try and avoid the bycatch of hake in the pelagic fishery for blue whiting. The trials were carried out on board of the SCH72 Frank Bonefaas. A description of the escape grid and the trials has been published in VisserijNieuws on 9 June 2017 (Article VisserijNieuws)




PFA and RVZ sign Green Deal for Clean Sea

13 March 2017

10-03-2017 PFA and RVZ sign Green Deal for Clean Sea

On behalf of the large Dutch pelagic fishing companies the Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association (PFA) and the Dutch Pelagic Ship-owners Association (RVZ) have signed a Green Deal for a Clean Sea. By signing PFA and RVZ commit to achieve in 2020 the shared objective to recycle or to usefully recover 95% of the waste from business operations and gear. No distinction is made whether the ships sail under the Dutch flag or under German or French flag, nor whether these ships operate in the North Sea or beyond.

In the framework of the Green Deal for fisheries - 'Together for a clean sea ' already existing initiatives will be further intensified and extended. In recent years the PFA/RVZ already initiated the following activities aimed at minimizing the impact on the environment at sea by:

  • Separating on board of the vessels the produced waste in 7 categories (being paper/cardboard, glass/tin, plastic, household waste, old nets, oil residue and other chemicals, as well as organic waste.
  • Draining, recycling or recovering the separated waste ashore. And by already asking our net suppliers to recycle the used fishing nets.
  • Minimizing the use of cleaning products on board of  the ships as much as possible, and by exclusively using biodegradable cleaning products.

Also the new on-shore power facilities in the Dutch pelagic fishing ports of IJmuiden and Scheveningen contribute to a cleaner environment.




PFA en RVZ ondertekenen Green Deal voor een Schone Zee

13 March 2017


10-03-2017 PFA en RVZ ondertekenen Green Deal voor een Schone Zee

De Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association (PFA) en de Redersvereniging voor de Zeevisserij (RVZ) hebben mede namens de grote Nederlandse pelagische rederijen die lid zijn van de PFA/RVZ de Green Deal voor een Schone Zee ondertekend. Met deze ondertekening verbinden de PFA en de RVZ zich om in 2020 de gezamenlijke doelstelling te behalen om 95% van het afval uit de bedrijfsvoering en vistuig te recyclen dan wel nuttig toe te passen. Daarbij wordt geen onderscheid gemaakt of de schepen onder Nederlandse vlag varen of onder Duitse of Franse vlag en of deze schepen actief zijn in de Noordzee of daarbuiten.

In het kader van de Green Deal voor de Visserij - ‘Samen voor een schone zee’ zullen bestaande initiatieven verder geïntensiveerd en uitgebreid worden. De afgelopen jaren hebben de PFA/RVZ zich al ingezet voor een minimale belasting van het milieu op zee door:

  • Aan boord van de schepen het geproduceerde afval te scheiden in 7 categorieën  (zijnde papier/karton, glas/blik, plastic, huishoudelijk afval, oude netten, olieresten en andere chemische stoffen en organisch afval.
  • Het afval vervolgens aan wal gescheiden af te voeren en te laten recyclen, dan wel te laten verwerken. Door gebruikte visnetten nu al te laten hergebruiken door de leverancier zelf.
  • En het gebruik van schoonmaakmiddelen aan boord van de schepen zo veel mogelijk te minimaliseren en exclusief biologisch afbreekbare schoonmaakmiddelen te gebruiken.

Ook de nieuwe inrichting van walstroom faciliteiten in onze visserijhavens zoals in IJmuiden en – sedert deze week ook – in Scheveningen leveren een bijdrage aan een schoner milieu.


PFA and Greenpeace sign MoU on sustainable pelagic fisheries

31 August 2016


The Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association (PFA) and its member companies Parlevliet & Van der Plas, Cornelis Vrolijk and W. van der Zwan, signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greenpeace. Shared objective is to achieve a sustainable (pelagic) fisheries, such as the herring and mackerel fishery, and a healthy balance between fisheries and the marine environment. PFA will not explore until now unfished areas in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.


The agreements in the MoU recognize the leading role of the PFA:

  • in the collection of scientific data and scientific research regarding (pelagic) resources, avoiding bycatch, improving selectivity and the impact on the marine ecosystem, and
  • in constructively contributing to effective fisheries management in all regions where members of the PFA have a pelagic fishing operation.
  • Both parties also agreed that the PFA member companies refrain from entering into fishing in the until now unfished areas in the Arctic and Antarctic and to work together in improving regional fisheries management in West Africa.

PFA and Greenpeace will entertain an ongoing dialogue on all issues listed in the MoU.

The duration of the agreement is set at ten years.



/media/afbeeldingen/20160831 - MoU Greenpeace-PFA - agreed text (FINAL).pdf


Press Statement:

/media/afbeeldingen/20160831 - Joint press statement Greenpeace PFA and VNO - ENG .pdf



/media/afbeeldingen/20160831 - Gezamenlijk persbericht van Greenpeace PFA en VNO - NL.pdf


Picture taken by Nina Slagmolen:

/media/afbeeldingen/20160831 - signing MoU GP-PFA.pdf




International workshop on the use of acoustic data from Fishing vessels

16 June 2015

On 12 June 2015, PFA organized on behalf of the EU pelagic fishing industry, a workshop on the use of fishing vessel acoustics for research. The workshop was held at Schiphol airport and was well attended by skippers, fleet managers and researchers. With the help of presentations from different parts of the world (New Zealand, Canada, Peru, Europe) we managed to develop a broad picture of the potential use and method for assembling fishing vessel acoustic data for research purposes. The acoustic data from fishing vessels could broadly be used for two different purposes: quantitative data directed at stock estimation and stock assessment, and qualitative data on overall trends and distributions within marine ecosystems. The overall driver could be to collect data where traditional research activities cannot reach (e.g. remote areas, rough weather, many vessels at the same time). More information in the report of the workshop.


PFA participates in International Mackerel and Horse Mackerel Egg survey

10 May 2016

On May 10, 2016 the Atlantic Lady (H180) freezer trawler will sail out of the port of Scheveningen to participate in the tri-annual international mackerel and horse mackerel egg survey. On board will be the crew of the vessel with Dirk Haasnoot as skipper and 5 researchers of IMARES with Cindy van Damme as cruise leader. The PFA is proud to be able to support the international egg survey by providing a vessel and crew and funding for the research. The tri-annual egg survey for mackerel and horse mackerel is an important part of the assessments of those stocks.

The contribution of the pelagic industry to the egg survey is the result of a close collaboration between industry and science that was initiated last year with an ad hoc pre-egg survey survey. This year the fishing industries of Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands are each contributing a two week period of survey time and a survey platform. Results of the survey will be collated into the international egg survey report.

More information




PFA represents the interests of nine European freezer-trawler companies involved in pelagic fishing activities for human consumption.

Learn more about the PFA policy of sustainable and responsible production.

Check our certified