Reforming the Common Fisheries Policy

Reforming the Common Fisheries Policy

Jill Wakefield

This book takes a critical view of the policy and law governing EU marine fisheries and the effect of the 2013 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Reforms to the CFP are impeded by Treaty-guaranteed concessions, exemptions from general environmental legislation and the Court of Justice’s creation of principles unique to the sector. The author discusses how damaging effects of fishing could be ameliorated if the Court were to align fisheries principles with general principles of law, and considers the institutional and regulatory frameworks needed to encourage prudent resource use.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Jill Wakefield

Subjects: environment, energy policy and regulation, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, law - academic, environmental law, maritime law, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy

Abstract

This chapter considers the predicament of the overexploited EU fishing grounds and why the most integrated and regulated region of the world, the European Union, has failed to ensure the sustainability of its fish stocks. The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), rooted in the Common Agricultural Policy regulating the husbandry of the land and harvesting of crops, has never developed effective principles or strategies to prevent the overexploitation of stocks and has failed to impose responsibility for the regeneration of fish stocks on the industry. The Court of Justice has not provided coherence for the CFP, being more exercised by individual rights and the constitutionalisation of the law internally, and concerned not to tie the hands of legislators in external affairs. Although the EU Treaties require the integration of environmental protection in all Union policies and objectives, the CFP is not made subject to environmental provisions. In 2014 a reformed CFP came into effect through the 2013 Basic or Fisheries Regulation. However, as with previous iterations of the CFP, the new regulation will not be effective to overcome overexploitation.