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Towards a sustainable fisheries policy in Europe


  • Ghoti papers Ghoti aims to serve as a forum for stimulating and pertinent ideas. Ghoti publishes succinct commentary and opinion that addresses important areas in fish and fisheries science. Ghoti contributions will be innovative and have a perspective that may lead to fresh and productive insight of concepts, issues and research agendas. All Ghoti contributions will be selected by the editors and peer reviewed.

    Etymology of Ghoti George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), polymath, playwright, Nobel prize winner, and the most prolific letter writer in history, was an advocate of English spelling reform. He was reportedly fond of pointing out its absurdities by proving that ‘fish’ could be spelt ‘ghoti’. That is: ‘gh’ as in ‘rough’, ‘o’ as in ‘women’ and ‘ti’ as in palatial.


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.