Management of fishing capacity serves the aim of a stable and enduring balance between the fishing capacity of the fleets and the fishing opportunities over time.
EU countries are obliged to report annually on this balance, using the guidelines prepared by the European Commission. For fleet segments with overcapacity the member state has to take measures under an action plan, to achieve the balance, for instance through publicly funded decommissioning of vessels. When a Member State fails to report or does not implement the action plan, this may lead to proportionate suspension or interruption of the relevant EU funding.
For each EU country a fishing fleet capacity ceiling is established, in kilowatts (kW) and gross tonnage (GT). New fishing vessels may enter the fleet only after the same fleet capacity (in kW and GT) is removed from the fleet. Through this ‘entry-exit’ system Europe’s fleet capacity can no longer increase.
The Commission maintains an EU fleet register with the necessary vessel information, which it receives periodically from the Member States. A first release of the new application for the fleet register (FLEET) is available.
EU Fleet register
Fleet capacity reports 2018
Fleet capacity reports 2017
Fleet capacity reports 2016
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Legislation on structural measures, including fleet (EUR-Lex)
Facts on the EU fishing fleet (Atlas)
Following the unprecedented outbreak of the coronavirus, the European Commission has taken rapid action to protect the fisheries and aquaculture sectors from severe shocks by introducing specific measures, including amendments to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
With many Covid-19 restrictions lifted, millions of Europe’s anglers can finally go fishing again. It’s a popular hobby, bringing billions of euros to Europe’s coastal economies. But there is a catch. Critics say unrestricted fishing threatens vulnerable species and can interfere with other marine sectors. How can they find common ground?
Deadline for applications: 09/09/2020 - 12:00 (Brussels time)