EC: Fleet overcapacity remains a challenge
By SeafoodSource staff
10 July, 2012
A new report on member states’ efforts to balance fishing capacity with fishing opportunities published by the European Commission supports calls for significant changes to EU fisheries policy, confirming the “very slow pace” at which the EU fishing fleet is shrinking in size.
Overcapacity remains one of the main obstacles to achieving sustainable fisheries, according to the EC. In 2010, fleet capacity (in terms of in engine power and tonnage) was reduced on average by 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively. This is similar to previous years. At this rate, eliminating overcapacity quickly will be difficult, especially as technology improvements partly compensate for capacity reductions, said the EC.
The report’s findings put into question the efficiency of publicly financed capacity reductions. A 2011 Court of Auditors’ report also concluded the failure of current measures and advocates either a new approach or better application of existing measures.
All member states have kept fleet capacity within the allowed capacity ceilings, said the EC. However, the capacity ceilings do not impose sufficient restrictions to help reduce overcapacity.
In its proposals for Common Fisheries Policy reform, the EC has proposed that member states introduce a system of transferable fishing concessions for large vessels to contribute to industry-induced fleet adjustments and improved economic performance. In addition, member states are obliged to ensure that, for the entire fleet, fishing capacity is in balance with the fishing opportunities.
10 July, 2012