Changes needed for EU fisheries policy

10 Jul 2012
A report shows a new approach towards the balance between fishing capacity and opportunites is needed

A report shows a new approach towards the balance between fishing capacity and opportunites is needed

A new report published by the European Commission shows important changes within EU fisheries policy need to be made.

The report on member states’ attempts to balance fishing capacity with fishing opportunities confirms that the decrease in size of the EU fishing fleet is moving at a slow pace. Overcapacity remains one of the main problems to reaching sustainable fisheries.

A number of Member States have settled that fleet reductions would help achieve healthy fisheries however, with engine power and tonnage reduced by 2% and 4% in 2012, reducing overcapacity quickly will prove difficult. Therefore, changes to the current policy are essential, with the efficiency of publicly financed capacity reductions being questioned first.

A Court of Auditor’s report from 2011 also showed the failure of current methods. It has been proposed that all Member States introduce a scheme of transferable fishing concessions for large vessels to contribute to industry-induced fleet adjustments and improved economic performance. Member States are also required to make sure that fishing capacity is in balance with fishing opportunities for the whole fleet.

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