European fisheries industry comments on Green Paper

Two EU fisheries federations commented on the Commission’s Green Paper on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy. While they believe the Commission to be too pessimistic about the future of the fishing industry, they find the Green Paper to be quite fair overall. Nevertheless, they say the Green Paper lacks a socio-economic dimension.

The Green Paper recommends a radical reform of the EU fisheries policy in order to deal with problems of vulnerability of valuable fish stocks as a result of overfishing.

Main elements of the Green Paper are:

  • current annual national fishing quotas (Total Allowable Catches – TACs) will be replaced by a system of multi-annual and multi-species quotas;
  • EU-wide sanctions for fishermen breaking the rules on allowable quotas;
  • greater involvement of stakeholders;
  • initiatives to create alternative sources of employment for job losses as a result of fleet reductions.


Europêche and Cogeca (General committee for EU agricultural co-operation) believe that the Green paper on the future of CFP presents a reasonably fair vision, even though it is too negative and pessimist about the future of the fishing industry. Cogeca and Europ¨e also blame the Green Paper for lacking a socio-economic dimension and for failing with regards to distant fishing.

Main elements of their criticism:

  • most members in favour of maintaining system of multi-annual TACs and quotas;
  • in favour of the status quo concerning access to the North Sea after 2002;
  • call for initiatives to improve the sector's image and make it more attractive for youths (training, security, better living and working conditions);
  • develop fish farming more;
  • social dimension: harmonisation of social regulations should cover all social laws;
  • multi-annual guidance programmes in present form to be replaced by simple, transparent, non-bureaucratic fleet management system (e.g. via defining of fishing plans by the producer organisations);
  • urgently call for allowing Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance to continue to participate in financing investments to renew production tools;
  • in favour of setting up purely advisory Regional Advisory Committees;
  • recommend harmonising inspections and sanctions at EU level;
  • Commission must play driving role in Regional Fisheries Organisations to defend interests of Community fleet;
  • welcome Commission's initiative to promote integration of Mediterranean into CFP;
  • in favour of creating an inter-professional Mediterranean association: permanent discussion forum of all national professional fishing organisations of the Mediterranean rim countries.

The European Commission adopted a Green Paper on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) on 20 March 2001. DG Fisheries has invited all concerned parties to react to the Green Paper in order to stimulate a debate.


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