Celtic Seas LogoCeltic Seas Home
Open Menu

Common Fisheries Policy


Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)


Originally established 1983 with the most recent reform in 2002

Overall aim

Coordinate the management of fisheries to ensure they are sustainable and do not damage the marine environment


The Common Fisheries Policy brings together a range of measures* designed to achieve a thriving and sustainable European fishing industry.

The most important areas of action of the common fisheries policy are:

  • Setting rules to ensure Europe’s fisheries are sustainable and do not damage the marine environment
  • Providing national authorities with the tools to enforce these rules and punish offenders
  • Monitoring the size of the European fishing fleet and preventing it from expanding further
  • Providing funding and technical support for initiatives that can make the industry more sustainable
  • Negotiating on behalf of EU countries in international fisheries organisations and with non-EU countries around the world
  • Helping producers, processors and distributors get a fair price for their produce and ensuring consumers can trust the seafood they eat
  • Supporting the development of a dynamic EU aquaculture sector (fish, seafood and algae farms)
  • Funding scientific research and data collection, to ensure a sound basis for policy and decision making

(Source – http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/cfp/index_en.htm)

The condition of Europe’s fisheries is constantly changing. The decline in fish stocks, the increase in size and power of vessels, and other factors such as climate change are all having an impact. Because of this the CFP needs to adapt and develop.

One reform of the CFP took place in 2002 and another is currently underway.

The main elements of the new proposals include:

  • Long term management plans
  • Banning discards
  • Support for small-scale fisheries
  • Developing sustainable aquaculture
  • Improving scientific knowledge

* Measure – A legislative bill or enactment