The Common Fisheries Policy

Of course, fish do not respect international boundaries and move freely in the oceans. This makes it difficult for individual EU countries to manage fish stocks in isolation.

For this reason, the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was created, initially in 1970 by the six founding members of the European Community. The aim was for countries in the EU to jointly manage their fisheries in unison, and to maintain a thriving, profitable and sustainable fishing industry throughout Europe.

To achieve this end, the CFP's activities include:

  • Setting and enforcing rules and regulations to ensure sustainability
  • Monitoring the size of the European fishing fleet
  • Providing funding and technical support for sustainability initiatives
  • Supporting new developments in the EU aquaculture sector
  • Funding scientific research and data collection

The Common Fisheries Policy has been undergoing a reform process with the new CFP, effective 1 January 2014, aiming to ensure that both fishing and aquaculture activities are environmentally sustainable in the long term.

You can view a timetable of the CFP reform process which completed at the end of 2013  here. Further details can be found at Defra. You can also contact Karen Green for more information.