CFP reform

The framework regulating fisheries in the European Union is staked out in its Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The current CFP has been applicable since 1 January 2014, after almost seven years of negotiations, where the OCEAN2012 alliance consisting of over 120 members interested in sustainable fisheries, across 20 EU member states, played an important role in transforming European fisheries through the CFP. Academics have highlighted the role played by the OCEAN2012 coalition in the CFP reform.

Nets dryingThe seed of the EU Common Fisheries Policy was contained in the Rome Treaty in 1957, under Article 38. But it took ten years before the main principles for a joint policy were outlined and the Commission’s DG FISH (now DG MARE – The Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) was created in 1976.

The policy we know today, consisting of four main sections dealing with fisheries management, market and trade, funding of the policy and external aspects, did not materialise until 1983. Fisheries (resource) management was the last policy area to be added. In the basic regulation outlined in 1983, a ten year reform cycle was created, with particular articles to be reviewed. The next reform of the CFP is scheduled to be in place by 2022.

to achieve MSY by 2020 at the latest

The current CFP sets out to achieve Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) by 2020 at latest with the goal to move towards and ecosystem based approach. It furthermore gives EU countries greater control at national and regional level.

Last updated: March 16, 2018

Recent publications

OCEAN2012 Briefing: An initial reaction to the Commission’s package on...

July 12, 2011

In the face of concerted short-term economic interests, the Commission has struggled to craft a proposal that responds adequately to the issues...

OCEAN2012: Subsidies public funds for public services

June 12, 2010

OCEAN2012 would like the reformed CFP to: stop aid which contributes to maintaining or even increasing overcapacities, in particular all aid for...

OCEAN2012: Transforming European fisheries

August 13, 2009

A broad CFP reform now provides an opportunity to make European fisheries economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. There is a need...

OCEAN2012: Regional governance – making it work for fisheries an...

June 29, 2009

This paper is intended to provide you with a thought-provoking background before the Conference “Regional Fisheries Management – making it work...