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Keywords:

  • Common fisheries policy;
  • discards ban;
  • ecosystem based fisheries management;
  • fleet overcapacity;
  • marine protected areas;
  • maximum sustainable yield

Abstract

The reform of the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in 2013 decides whether the European fisheries can be put on a sustainable course in the next 10 years. The CFP reform must halt overexploitation of fish resources and stop harm to the marine environment by fishing activities. The European Commission published a reform proposal just recently. This proposal is already an important first step in the right direction, but is under threat of being watered down by the Fisheries Council. Necessary improvements of the current CFP include among others a binding definition of a sustainable stock management, a discard ban for all fish species, transferable fishing concessions and a cessation of all aid for building new vessels. These modifications pave the way for placing micromanagement in the hands of regions and fisheries so as to foster self-responsibility among fishers and give greater consideration to regional circumstances.