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Funding fleet renewal will not address EU overcapacity and overfishing
Thirty years of the Common Fisheries Policy, CFP, has resulted in the serious depletion of fish populations, the degradation of ecosystems, and damage to species and habitats. Thirty-nine per cent of assessed stocks in the Atlantic and 88 per cent in the Mediterranean are overfished1. By continuing to overfish, more than €3 billion every year is being wasted which could support more than 100,000 jobs2. Overcapacity is one of the main drivers of overfishing and subsidies have been used to increase the EU’s fleet capacity by providing aid for the construction of new vessels. So much so, that the EU’s fishing fleet is estimated to be two to three times larger than sustainable fisheries would allow. Such direct subsidies have acted as an economic incentive to overfish; reducing them is critical to ending overfishing, rebuilding fish stocks and securing a viable future for the sector.