This paper is intended to provide you with a thought-provoking background before the European Parliament discussions on the regionalisation of the Common Fisheries Policy. Its purpose is to:
- Encourage debate on the concept of regional fisheries management, particularly in a EU context;
- Explore potential reforms that might be useful or possible under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP); and
- Consider the key issues and challenges that may affect the possibilities to take a more regional approach to the management of the European Union’s (EU) fisheries.
There are three main sections to the paper. First we define and describe our terminology “regional fisheries management”, inspired by approaches from around the world. This is followed by a background to the EU’s legal and policy context in relation to regional fisheries management and the Commission’s proposal for regionalisation in the reformed CFP. Then four examples describe different international, national and local ‘regional’ fisheries governance structures or management arrangements: North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, Regional Fisheries Councils in the USA, Scotland’s Inshore Fisheries Groups and collective fisheries management in France. We have selected these examples as they illustrate different approaches and give an overview of the issues, challenges and benefits of successful, or innovative, regional fisheries management. Throughout the paper you will find text boxes with questions, statements or issues that we hope will inform an interesting discussion and debate.