OCEAN2012: Transforming European Fisheries

Decades of intensive fishing in European waters have led to dramatic declines in once abundant fish populations. Currently, 72 percent of all assessed fish stocks are estimated to be overexploited, with over 20 percent being fished beyond safe biological limits, which is threatening their very future.

The European Union’s (EU’s) Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has failed to prevent overfishing. Over 25 years, short-term economic interest and political expediency has landed European fisheries in deep crisis.

Continuous overfishing has resulted in less-productive fisheries with a gradual loss of jobs and livelihoods. Fewer and smaller fish are being caught, with greater effort required to find them, which often results in the targeting of other, sometimes even more vulnerable, species.