Fishery: The new fishing law – the so called basic regulation

Author: BalticSea2020
Year published: 2014

On May 30, 2013, the European Parliament and the EU member states agreed on the main issues on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The result was above expectations and paves the way for a completely new fisheries management. Now it is up to member states to show that they also exploit the new opportunities for improved management, when the law is implemented.

The main parts of the regulation are:

  • Fish stocks shall be managed according to the Maximum Sustainable Yield theory in 2015 where it is possible and at the latest in 2020. Also the size of the fishing quotas should be set according to this theory in 2015 at the latest. (the present regulation has no concrete targets for how the stocks should be managed).
  • A discard ban will be introduced gradually. In the Baltic it will start being implemented in 2015. There are some possibilities for exceptions of up to 5% of the quota but these are associated with strict rules for special plans and control. The member states are also forced to control the ban with cameras, observers or similar. (In the present regulation fishermen are instead obliged to through back all fish that cannot be landed which has led to discard levels of up to 1.7 million tonnes annually.)
  • The possibility of regionalisation is introduced whereby member states around a sea area can agree on a management strategy to reach the targets of the CFP. The main reason for this is to decrease the micromanagement from EU and to have more regionally aligned measure in each region.

For more information about the new Common Fisheries Policy – click here.

Beginners’ Guide to the Common Fisheries Policy
In association with the ongoing negotiations of a new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), Fish For the Future, a cross party campaign group within the European Parliament, has developed a brochure which in five minutes explains the Common Fisheries Policy. The brochure describes the situation of the fishing industry in Europe today, and explains what needs to be done to improve it and secure a healthy fishing industry. For more information about the brochure and Fish For the Future - click here. They have also developed a brochure which explains the Reform of EU Fish Subsidies. For more information - click here.

Click here for a BalticSea2020 brief on the most important parts in presence of the voting on the new Common Fisheries Policy.
Click here for a BalticSea2020 brief on the discard ban
Click here for a BalticSea2020 brief on regionalization
Click here for a BalticSea2020 brief on individual transferable quotas (TFC).