The common fisheries policy (CFP)
Fish move across borders and seas, and fishing fleets have done the same for centuries. As the activities of each fishing fleet affect the opportunities of other fleets, the EU countries have decided to manage their fisheries in collaboration, through the common fisheries policy (CFP). This policy brings together a range of measures designed to achieve a thriving and sustainable European fishing industry.
The most important areas of action of the common fisheries policy are:
- laying down rules to ensure Europe's fisheries are sustainable and do not damage the marine environment (see fishing rules)
- providing national authorities with the tools to enforce these rules and punish offenders (see fisheries controls)
- monitoring the size of the European fishing fleet and preventing it from expanding further (see fishing fleet)
- providing funding and technical support for initiatives that can make the industry more sustainable (see European Fisheries Fund)
- negotiating on behalf of EU countries in international fisheries organisations and with non-EU countries around the world (see international)
- helping producers, processors and distributors get a fair price for their produce and ensuring consumers can trust the seafood they eat (see market)
- supporting the development of a dynamic EU aquaculture sector (fish, seafood and algae farms) (see aquaculture)
- funding scientific research and data collection, to ensure a sound basis for policy and decision making (see data collection) and
The Commission has started a review of the common fisheries policy to make it more efficient in ensuring the economic viability of the European fleets, conserving fish stocks, integrating with the maritime policy and providing good quality food to consumers. For more information on the reform of the common fisheries policy, please see the CFP reform subsite.
- Guide to EU fisheries policy [2 MB]