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Learn Europe / Subjects / Common Fisheries Policy

Common Fisheries Policy

Geography

Specific Objectives and Competences

  • To know how to regulate the EU fisheries sector.
  • To understand the main problems facing the fisheries sector at both the EU and global scales.
  • To identify the potential of the aquaculture sector in the EU.

Contents

  • The management and conservation policy for fisheries resources is one of the exclusive competences of the EU and is known as the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This policy dates from 1983 and is based on a series of actions and initiatives carried out within the EU that we could summarise as follows:
    • Negotiating with third parties on behalf of the member states.
    • Imposing and enforcing regulations based on the sustainability of fisheries resources.
    • Controlling the size of fishing fleets.
    • Regulating the market.
    • Promoting aquaculture.
    • Conducting scientific research.
    • Providing support for the sector.
  • This policy seeks to lay down the foundations for achieving long-term sustainable fishing. To do this, the EU authorities need to take decisions aimed at limiting captures which are based on scientific criteria.
  • To guarantee sustainability, it is also necessary to reduce the size of the fishing fleets of the EU countries. With this in mind, the EU has made funding available to help finance a reduction in the size of the fishing fleet.
  • The marine environment can be adversely affected by the use of certain fishing techniques. To prevent negative impacts on ecosystems, the EU has restricted the use of trawling nets in certain areas.
  • At the international level, in 2007, the EU was responsible for 4.6% of the world’s fishing and aquaculture production, behind China (32.8%), Peru (5.2%) and India (5.2%).
  • One of the most controversial questions is the sharing of the fishing quotas for each species between the fishing fleets of the countries of the EU. With this in mind, in the early 1980s, a system of “relative stability” was introduced which gave each country a fishing quota based on historic records, though always with an eye to maintaining the long-term sustainability of fisheries resources.

Debates

Based on the National Geographic article about overfishing (en).

Do you think it is possible to maintain the current level of international fishing captures?

The negative effects about aquaculture (en, es, it, fr, de)

Is aquaculture a viable alternative despite the negative effects described in the article?

Videos

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