CFP dogged by ‘systematic failures’


Lindsey Partos, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Paris

Published on
September 20, 2009

Scottish fishermen welcomed the findings of an interim report claiming the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) suffers from “systematic failures.”
Carried out by the Scottish government, “Inquiry into Future Fisheries Management” suggests the current fishing regime results in “gladiatorial” battles over quotas. The report will be presented to the Scottish Fisheries Council on Tuesday.

“We welcome this interim report as it forms an important part of the vital process of ensuring effective reform of the CFP,” said Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, in response to the report.

“No one should underestimate the real urgency for a major overhaul of the Common Fisheries Policy,” he added. “There must be greater regional control of fisheries management and a transfer of responsibility to those best able to exercise it.”

In April, the European Commission called for a sweeping reform of the CFP by 2012. In the EC’s green paper, EU officials admitted five key failings in the CFP, including fleet overcapacity, imprecise policy objectives and a framework that fails to give sufficient responsibility to industry.

Seeking to weigh in on the CFP debate, the Scottish government in January put together an inquiry team.

Speaking after chairing his first inquiry team meeting in January, Alan Campbell said: “Our aim is to produce a comprehensive and wide-ranging report, which maps out a path to greater profitability and economic stability for Scotland’s fishermen while securing the long-term sustainability of stocks.”

“Having given evidence to the inquiry we welcome much of what is contained in its interim findings,” said Louize Hill, marine policy officer for World Wildlife Fund-Scotland. “Scotland’s fishermen are in a fantastic position to benefit from a real reform of the CFP, mainly because they are already putting much of what is already being proposed into action on a daily basis.”

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