The framework for how fisheries are regulated in the European Union is staked out in its Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The current CFP was concluded in 2002, and a new CFP is to be decided during 2012, to be enforced in 2013.
Today, more than eight years after the previous reform, many parts of the Community fishing fleet are in economic difficulties and efficiency is generally low. The status of European fish stocks is also a cause for concern: it is estimated that about 80 per cent of stocks are over-fished and the situation has not improved greatly since the reform in 2002.
The European Commission highlights these facts as reasons for seriously examining a new approach.