The European Union: Common Fisheries Policy

Sunday, 24 September 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Editorial, EU blog post series, European Union
Reading Time:  6 minutes

© oceans-and-fisheries.ec.europa.eu

© oceans-and-fisheries.ec.europa.eu

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the fisheries policy of the European Union (EU). It sets quotas for which member states are allowed to catch each type of fish, as well as encouraging the fishing industry by various market interventions. In 2004 it had a budget of €931 million, approximately 0.75% of the EU budget.

When it came into force in 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon formally enshrined fisheries conservation policy as one of the handful of “exclusive competences” reserved for the European Union, to be decided by Qualified Majority Voting. However, general fisheries policy remains a “shared competence” of the Union and its member states. Decisions are now made by the Council of the European Union, and the European Parliament acting together under the co-decision procedure.

The Common Fisheries Policy was created to manage fish stock for the European Union as a whole. Article 38 of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, which created the European Communities (now European Union), stated that the common market shall extend to agriculture and trade in agricultural products. Agricultural products in the treaty meaning the products of the soil, of stock-farming and of fisheries and products of first-stage processing directly related to these products. It did not make any other specific mention of fisheries or common fishing areas.

Fishing is a relatively minor economic activity within the EU. It contributes generally less than 1 per cent to gross national product. In 2007 the fisheries sector employed 141,110 fishermen. In 2007, 6.4 million tonnes of fish were caught by EU countries. The EU fleet has 97,000 vessels of varying sizes. Fish farming produced a further 1 million tonnes of fish and shellfish and employed another 85,000 people. The shortfall between fish catches and demand varies, but there is an EU trade deficit in processed fish products of €3 billion.

The combined EU fishing fleets land about 6 million tonnes of fish per year, of which about 700,000 tonnes are from UK waters. The UK’s share of the overall EU fishing catch in 2014 was 752,000 tonnes, the second largest catch of any country in the EU. This proportion is determined by the London Fisheries Convention of 1964 and by the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. In Fraserburgh, Scotland, the fishing industry creates 40% of employment and a similar figure in Peterhead. They are the EU’s largest fishing ports and home to the pelagic vessel fleet. It is often in areas where other employment opportunities are limited. For this reason, community funds have been made available to fishing as a means of encouraging regional development. The market for fish and fish products has changed in recent years. Supermarkets are now the main buyers of fish and expect steady supplies. Fresh fish sales have fallen, but demand for processed fish and prepared meals has grown. Despite this, employment in fish processing has been falling, with 60% of fish consumed in the EU coming from elsewhere. This is partly due to improvements in the ability to transport fresh fish internationally. Competitiveness of the EU fishing industry has been affected by overcapacity and shortages of fish to catch.

Fish farming is the fastest growing area of world food production. In 1995 it produced one-third of the world’s fish and shellfish by value. The main species in the EU are trout, salmon, mussels and oysters, but interest has been shown in sea bass, sea bream and turbot. Community support began in 1971 for inland fish farming, but was extended to other areas in the late 1970s. EU support covers similar areas to other land installations, but with additional concerns of technical and environmental problems caused by introducing major fish concentrations where farms are built. The industry suffers problems due to fluctuating demand for farmed fish.

The European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund supports innovative projects that contribute to the sustainable exploitation and management of aquatic and maritime resources. In particular, it facilitates:

  • the transition to sustainable and low-carbon fishing
  • the protection of marine biodiversity and ecosystems
  • the supply of quality and healthy seafood to European consumers
  • the socio-economic attractiveness and the generational renewal of the fishing sector, in particular as regards small-scale coastal fisheries
  • the development of a sustainable and competitive aquaculture contributing to food security
  • the improvement of skills and working conditions in the fishing and aquaculture sectors
  • the economic and social vitality of coastal communities
  • the innovation in the sustainable blue economy
  • the maritime security towards a safe maritime space
  • the international cooperation towards healthy, safe and sustainably managed oceans

facts and figures on the common fisheries policy-KLAH21001ENN

Read more on Europa.eu – Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Europa.eu – Facts and figures on the common fisheries policy, Wikipedia European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund and Wikipedia Common Fisheries Policy (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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