Funds provided by the European Union have contributed to this problem by increasing its already excessive fishing capacity instead of adjusting the fleet to an appropriate size. This is not only a problem for the fish stocks struggling for survival; it is an equally serious problem for the fishermen who see the profitability of their trade going down every year.
To turn the tide in the Baltic Sea fisheries, the new Common Fisheries Policy should:
- promote, develop and implement rights-based management tools – systems that offer fishermen user rights to help bring capacity in line with fishing opportunities.
- guarantee that EU countries that fail to bring down their fleet capacity would have their fishing opportunities reduced.
- eliminate harmful subsidies and redirect tax payers’ resources to improving fisheries management, research and controls.