The Common Fisheries Policy

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), set up by the European Commission to manage fish stocks across the EU is widely agreed to have failed so far to prevent overfishing and to manage our fisheries in a sustainable way.

Techniques to catch fish can result in a great deal of bycatch and despite some progress a number of fish stocks are being fished beyond sustainable limits.

But a recent major review of the CFP has led to new measures which may turn this around and make a significant contribution to Living Seas. Two of the most important are:

• More fish for the future – setting catch targets that will move towards Maximum Sustainable Yield will help rebuild depleted fish stocks and ensure higher yields for the fishing industry

• Landing all fish – moves towards a total ban on discards will reduce uncertainty in measuring catches and drive technical improvements

Making changes required by the CFP will be challenging, but funding is provided through the European Marine Fisheries Fund. Around 310 million Euros will be available up to 2020, 243 million of which are from EU funds.

You can keep up to date on our thoughts on CFP progress and other important fisheries news though our Living Seas blog.