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April 1, 2020

What is the Common Fisheries Policy?

Management of EU fisheries

  • < 1 minutes

The CFP is a set of rules for managing European fishing fleets and for conserving fish stocks. Designed to manage a common resource, it gives all European fishing fleets equal access to EU waters and fishing grounds and allows fishermen to compete fairly.

Stocks may be renewable, but they are finite. Some of these fishing stocks, however, are being overfished. As a result, EU countries have taken action to ensure the European fishing industry is sustainable and does not threaten the fish population size and productivity over the long term.

The CFP aims to ensure that fishing and aquaculture are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable and that they provide a source of healthy food for EU citizens. Its goal is to foster a dynamic fishing industry and ensure a fair standard of living for fishing communities.

To this day, the impact of fishing on the fragile marine environment is not fully understood. For this reason, the CFP adopts a cautious approach which recognises the impact of human activity on all components of the ecosystem. It seeks to make fishing fleets more selective in what they catch, and to phase out the practice of discarding unwanted fish.

It also defines common rules covering all issues related to professional fisheries, such as total allowable catches, minimum fish and mesh sizes, fishing licences, reduction of environmental impact, sustainable aquaculture, management of fish stocks and the roadmap for achieving the objectives in a sustainable way.

The CFP target, launched in 2015, offers individual EU countries greater control at national and regional level and is supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) which would allocate €6,14 billion for the period 2021-2027.

Discover all the activities regulated by the CFP:



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