EU Common Fisheries Policy

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Definition of EU Common Fisheries Policy:
The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the fisheries policy of the European Union. It sets quotas for which member states are allowed to catch, what amounts of each type of fish, as well as encouraging the fishing industry by various market interventions.
This is the common definition for EU Common Fisheries Policy, other definitions can be discussed in the article

The EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was established in 1983 and after radical reform in 2002 as regards sustainable development of fishing activities from an environmental, economic and social point of view become one of the European Union's tools for the management of fisheries and aquaculture[1].
The other aim was to improve the foundations of the decision-making process through sufficient recommendation and amplified contribution of stakeholders. The Community plays here great role as it is expected to protect living aquatic resources, and to reduce the impact of fishing activities on marine ecosystems. The efficient fishing activities within an economically viable and competitive fisheries and aquaculture industry should be the results of the contribution. A reasonable standard of living for those who depend on fishing activities and the interests of consumers are also taken into account under The Common Fisheries Policy.


The Common Fisheries Policy set up the rules as regards conservation for:

  • total allowable catches,
  • limitation of fishing effort,
  • technical measures (rules in relation to fishing gears and minimum landing sizes),
  • Impose obligations to record and report catches and landings.

A multi-annual recovery plans for stocks outside safe biological limits and multi-annual management plans for other stocks have been established as a result of the 2002 reform of the CFP that considers more long-term approach to fisheries management.


The CFP take in numerous procedures to limit the environmental impact of fishing. The protection of non target species such as marine mammals, birds and turtles, juvenile fish and vulnerable fish stocks (by the strategy of bycatches prevention and discards elimination), and the protection of sensitive habitats (for example the measures to eliminate destructive fishing practices) are just some of the actions taken into account with the CFP.

Control and enforcement

The rules agreed under the CFP are under EU Member States responsibility and their enforcement should be controlled. Fisheries controls play an essential role in ensuring sustainable fishing. Furthermore, an EU Inspectorate role is to guarantee that all national enforcement authorities apply the same standards of excellence and equality in their enforcement. An EU fisheries control agency was established as a result of 2002 reform to strengthen controls. The Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) entered in force in 2007 to strengthen the standardization and effectiveness by controls and coordination of enforcement activities.

See also