The European Commission has published its Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The document contains an analysis of the problems underlying the current policy and provides a basis for discussions on reform.

 

The European Commission has published its Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The document contains an analysis of the problems underlying the current policy and provides a basis for discussions on reform.

Seas At Risk welcomes the Commission's analysis of the problems which have led to the complete failure in achieving the goals set for the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in 2002. Overexploitation of resources, with 88% of European stocks overfished and 30% outside biological limits, an unprofitable and subsidy-dependent sector, and decreasing levels of employment show that the policy has failed to achieve environmental, economic and social sustainability. In addition to that, the current CFP is complex to administer, difficult to enforce, and much too costly in relation to the economic gains generated by the sector.

The Green Paper identifies 5 main causes for these failures: the overcapacity of the EU fleet, imprecise policy objectives with no clear hierarchy among them, a decision-making system that favours short-term considerations, the lack of responsibilisation of the industry, and the lack of political will to enforce the policy, allied to the poor compliance by the industry.

Seas At Risk welcomes the opportunity posed by the review process and by the matter-of-fact analysis of the Commission to completely overhaul the Common Fisheriesn Policy and resolve the problems outlined above. Overcapacity remains indeed the main threat to the survival of several stocks, and Seas At Risk would like to see the problem dealt with by focusing the reduction efforts on the most fuel intensive and destructive sectors of the EU fleet. The review of the CFP will provide a precious opportunity to achieve a fleet that is of such a size and quality as to be able to be profitable without endangering the survival of the resource on which the sector depends.

Commission's Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

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