The European fisheries used to be some of the most productive in the world. However, for over 40 years, the Common Fishery Policy (CFP) has been supporting extermination of fish populations and degradation of the ecosystem, species, habitats and areas protected by EU nature conservation regulations. Fishery has become unsustainable, increasingly less cost-effective and dependent on subsidies from public resources. This, in turn, caused impoverishment of coastal communities and their growing dependence on imported fish.


In line with the data of the European Commission, the European fishing fleet was definitely too large. The European fishery is mostly comprised by small ships up to 12 m in length. The EU policy favoured the destructive, non-selective and fuel-consuming fleet, at the cost of ecologically sustainable fishing methods.

OTOP was one of the national partners for the OCEAN2012 coalition in Poland. This was a coalition of organisations aiming at changes in the European Common Fishery Policy that would put an end to excessive fishing and destructive fishing practices, thus allowing balanced use of the healthy fish resources. The coalition united 170 organisations across the EU, which targeted the necessary reform of the Common Fishery Policy, in order to restore an ecological balance in marine ecosystems. OCEAN2012 was initiated and coordinated by the Pew Environment Group, a nature conservation agency of the Pew Charitable Trusts foundation, which is a non-governmental organisation working to stop excessive fishing in world oceans.

The reformed Common Fishery Policy (CFP) introduced new tools, such as long-term management plans. The plans ensure long-term and sustainable management of marine resources based on the goals of the CFP, such as restoration of the fish numbers above the levels that allow to obtain Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY).

Trilateral negotiations have been going on between the European Commission, the Council of Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the European Parliament, concerning a long-term management plan for cod, herring and sprat stocks of the Baltic Sea (the "Baltic Plan"). This will be the first such document in the EU. Afterwards, a long-term plan for fish stocks of the North Sea will be drafted.
4 October 2017

Trial & Error: The Battle for Białowieża

The last newsletter of BirdLife International brings us to The Białowieża Primeval Forest issue.  The Battle for Białowieża is continuing. Jarosław Krogulec, Head of Conservation (OTOP, […]
23 May 2017

European birds of conservation concern

BirdLife International releases the publication European birds of conservation concern: populations, trends and national responsibilities. This publication summarises the conservation status of 541 wild bird species […]

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