What we think of the 2011 CFP reform proposal

Publication - November 1, 2011
This document gives in 14 pages Greenpeace's reaction to the European Commission's proposed Common Fisheries Policy reform.

After four decades of EU fisheries policy most fish stocks are overfished and many marine ecosystems seriously damaged or destroyed. Fishing fleets are taking more fish out of the sea than can be replenished naturally. They devastate habitats by using destructive fishing methods even in the most sensitive areas.

The new CFP should end overfishing, reduce damage to ecosystems and re-build an EU fishing sector that is environmentally sustainable and socially as well as economically viable. To achieve this, the EU must reduce its fleet in line with the objective of keeping fish populations well above levels that can produce the Maximum Sustainable Yield by 2015. For vessels that continue to fish, destructive fishing methods must be substituted with sustainable practices. Only these principles will deliver Europeans a rich variety of responsibly and locally‐caught fish into the future.

In summary, Greenpeace would like to see the following provisions included in the reformed CFP:

  • Apply legally binding fleet adjustment targets that lead to overall reductions, scrapping overcapacity and destructive fishing practices.
  • Promote a shift towards sustainable, low-impact fishing and reward those fishermen who have the least impact on the environment and who contribute positively to local coastal communities.
  • Require science-based decision-making, in particular the introduction of a legal cap on Total Allowable Catches at scientifically recommended levels.
  • Support a regionalised, ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management that promotes compliance with conservation rules (e.g. on species and site protection) and contributes to the achievement of a good environmental status in Europe’s seas.
  • Promote transparency in data-handling and decision-making, accountability in fisheries policy and management, and traceability of seafood product
  • End harmful subsidies and base future funding on criteria that furthers the above objectives.

CFP proposal briefing