Chapter 3: The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy
AbstractThis chapter deals with the evolution of the EU’s CFP. The substantive reforms introduced by the 2013 Fisheries Regulation are outlined and discussed in the context of the new policy obligation to ensure that fishing is environmentally sustainable in the long term. Although overexploitation of the fish resource is driven by overcapacity, there are few incentives for capacity reduction. Attempts to ensure the sustainability of the resource are continued through revised control measures, including the introduction of a discard ban and a requirement to fish at maximum sustainable yield (MSY). However, the legislation does not address the problems emerging as a result of climate change. Even given the resultant mounting stressors on marine ecosystems, the latest Fisheries Regulation applies no pressure on the industry for husbandry of the resource. To support reforms, a new funding instrument, the Maritime and Fisheries Fund, has been established with aids to the fishing industry maintained, even though under EU law there is a prohibition on aid for other commercial sectors. Hitherto, the provision of aid has not managed to reduce the catching power of the fleet to match the available resource. A system to deliver robust, evidence-based policy has not emerged and scientific evidence is given no priority in decision-making. Instead, as under international law, the right to fish is protected, and this is treated by the Court of Justice as fundamental.
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