Reforming European Fisheries Subsidies

Reforming European Fisheries Subsidies

European fisheries subsidies are maintaining, and possibly even increasing, fishing overcapacity – one of the main drivers of overfishing. The EU has committed to removing environmentally damaging subsidies and to defining a roadmap for their elimination by 2008. However, to date this roadmap has not materialised. OCEAN2012 and other NGOs have been reminding the European Commission to ensure the coherence of all EU policies with the EU’s commitment to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies. Read the latest letter to Commission President Barroso.

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) provides financial support to activities that are supposed to further the CFP’s objectives of creating an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable fisheries sector in the EU. Read the joint letter (PDF) sent to Commissioner Damanaki on October 19, laying out essential elements required to ensure that EU funding will no longer contribute to maintaining overcapacities and to overfishing in European waters and by EU fleets globally.

A report by Ecologic, commissioned by the Pew Environment Group, examines Member States’ use of social and environmental criteria in allocating European Fisheries Funds.

A second joint NGO report analyses whether promises made during the CFP review in 2002 on fisheries subsidy reform have been delivered and suggests ways in which the future financial instrument could be reformed.

The reform of the CFP is a unique opportunity to phase out subsidies that are not only environmentally but also economically and socially harmful, and to direct aid towards measures which contribute to the long-term sustainability of EU fisheries.

OCEAN2012 would like the reformed CFP to:

  • stop aid which contributes to maintaining or increasing overcapacity;
  • stop public aid for access to fish resources;
  • use money towards the creation of public goods, such as research, improved control and enforcement and the cooperation between fishers and scientists as well as greater stakeholder involvement; and
  • make information on fisheries subsidies transparent and accessible.