Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)

Fish do not move according to borders. Therefore, most fisheries in the Baltic Sea and the rest of Europe are regulated according to the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The CFP is  the most important legislation to manage fisheries in the EU, with the purpose to ensure that fishing activities are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

The CFP sets the objectives and the tools to be used to manage stocks and achieve these objectives, such as how to set Total Allowable Catches (TAC) and the kind of conservation and technical measures to be implemented.  

Unfortunately, so far the CFP has not met its goal. This is because for the last 30 years, the policy has in fact been implemented as if fish resources were infinite. This has led to the continued overexploitation of stocks in all European waters, including in the Baltic Sea.

The EU is currently revising the existing CFP, which dates back to 2002. For years, Oceana has been working towards reforming the CFP to ensure the long term sustainability of marine resources. Our experts maintain regular contact with representatives across the board to advocate for: improvements to the system of Total Allowable Catches, the elimination of  discards and by-catch and put an end to harmful fisheries subsidies.

The new CFP will be completed in 2013 and should start being in implemented in 2014.

European flounder © OCEANA / Carlos Suárez