Fisheries Reform

A Vision for European Fisheries

 / ©: WWF-Canon / Quentin BATES
Fisheries Subsidies - Will the EU turn its back on the 2002 Reforms?
© WWF-Canon / Quentin BATES
The CFP is characterised as one of EU’s public policy failures. Fish stocks around the world are in trouble but the EU faces real disaster. More than 80% of the commercial fish stocks in Europe are overfished compared to 25% estimated to be the global average.
Poor fisheries management – with quotas set too high, disregard of the scientific advice, indiscriminate gear, insufficient control and enforcement, along with too many boats fishing on too few fish – continue to put the Baltic Sea and its fishing communities at risk.

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.
The coming reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy offers us a unique opportunity to fix our past mistakes. Now is the time to make the changes we need, to restore our fisheries before it is too late.

A Vision for European Fisheries Reform

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