The guidelines recommend to Member States a set of standardised indicators (biological, economic and vessel-use indicators) to determine if the size of their fishing fleets are in line with the amount of fishing opportunities allocated to them.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said: "Too many powerful boats chasing too few fish inevitably leads to overfishing and ever dwindling stocks. Balance is the key to sustainable stocks and today's guidelines show our commitment to helping Member States keep their fleets' capacity in line with the amount of fish they can catch"
Under the Common Fisheries Policy, Member States are responsible for achieving a stable and enduring balance between the fishing capacity of their fleet and their fishing opportunities to avoid overfishing and increased pressure on dwindling fish stocks. Member states must take action when required to ensure this balance. The guidelines aim to facilitate the work of national administrations in fulfilling this task.