Europe and Central Asia
18 Jun 2021

Common Fisheries Policy: Mission not yet accomplished

© Pontus Wellgraf/ unsplash
By BirdLife Europe & Central Asia

Seven years after the last reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) entered into force, the EU, which has exclusive competence in this area, is yet to succeed in fulfilling its objectives. Implementation and enforcement challenges remain, often due to Member States’ inaction, insufficient oversight by the European Commission and industry resistance to change. Possible solutions exist within the CFP itself, or in other available legal instruments, without the need to reform the CFP Basic Regulation in the medium-term.

Article 49 of the CFP Basic Regulation states that: “The Commission shall report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the functioning of the CFP by 31 December 2022”. In anticipation of this report, this policy paper aims to provide a constructive assessment by mapping weaknesses in CFP implementation and opportunities to address them. We offer recommendations for tackling the gaps to end overfishing, including in the Mediterranean Sea, for implementing the landing obligation, reducing the negative impacts of fishing on the environment, tackling the issue of bycatch, transitioning to low-impact fisheries, eliminating harmful subsidies, improving regionalisation and the external dimension, and addressing the lack of climate change considerations in the CFP.

NGOs call on the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, Member States, and relevant stakeholders to deliver urgently on the CFP’s objectives to ensure the long- term environmental sustainability of fisheries and of the coastal communities that depend on them.

Read the full paper here.



Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.