Most fishing fleets in the EU are much too big compared to the available fish resources. The EU is trying to reduce the pressure on fish stocks by limiting the overall size of the fleet as well as the amount of time different segments of the fleet can spend fishing (e.g. by limiting the number of days at sea).
Under the 'entry/exit scheme', capacity, measured in tonnage, is not allowed to rise above the level of 1 January 2003 (or 1 May 2004, for countries that joined the EU on that date). To ensure this ceiling is respected, all EU fishing vessels are registered in the Community fleet register , which is updated every quarter.
- Guide to EU fisheries policy [2 MB] – see chapter 8 ("A fleet for the future") [151 KB]
- Fact sheet on entry-exit scheme: preventing fleet expansion [118 KB]