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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Fisheries

28-06-2019

The European Union has sole responsibility for the conservation of its marine fisheries resources, and manages them under the common fisheries policy (CFP). Launched in 1983 and reformed every ten years since then, the CFP has come a long way. The current framework, resulting from the 2013 CFP reform, is aimed at ensuring that EU fisheries are sustainable – environmentally, economically and socially. The CFP has a dedicated financial instrument – the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) – ...

The European Union has sole responsibility for the conservation of its marine fisheries resources, and manages them under the common fisheries policy (CFP). Launched in 1983 and reformed every ten years since then, the CFP has come a long way. The current framework, resulting from the 2013 CFP reform, is aimed at ensuring that EU fisheries are sustainable – environmentally, economically and socially. The CFP has a dedicated financial instrument – the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) – with a budget of €6.4 billion for the 2014-2020 period. The 2013 reform introduced the target to achieve exploitation of all stocks at sustainable levels by 2020, and provided several major tools to support progress towards this goal. In particular, adoption of multiannual plans has become a priority, to ensure long-term management of stocks. An obligation to land all catches was designed to end the practice of discarding fish back into the sea. The reform also introduced regionalisation of decision-making, with the possibility to adopt conservation measures based on joint recommendations by the Member States concerned. Implementation of the reformed CFP was the main feature of the 2014-2019 parliamentary term, with legislative work making headway on several important topics. A series of multiannual plans have been launched, and four of them, concerning fisheries in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Western Waters and the western Mediterranean, are now in force. The landing obligation has been phased in, as scheduled, from 2015 to 2019. The EU adopted an updated framework for collection of fisheries data to support management decisions, as well as a new system of fishing authorisations improving the monitoring of EU vessels fishing outside EU waters. EU activities have also covered different aspects of the CFP's external dimension, such as conclusion of fisheries agreements with third countries, and participation in international fisheries governance. In the future, further progress is expected on issues such as adoption of multiannual plans and the revision of the fisheries control system. The EMFF will be renewed as part of the next EU multiannual budget for 2021-2027. Taking stock of progress made in implementing the latest reform and achieving its objectives, with a view to future CFP developments, will also be on the agenda. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Port reception facilities for ship waste: Collecting waste from ships in ports

07-06-2019

Marine litter and pollution put the marine environment at risk. While a great proportion of marine litter originates from land-based sources, limiting waste discharges from ships also plays an essential role in efforts to preserve marine and coastal ecosystems. Based on international law, EU legislation requires vessels to bring the waste they generate on voyages to waste-reception facilities in port, and obliges EU ports to provide such facilities to ships using the port. Despite these developments ...

Marine litter and pollution put the marine environment at risk. While a great proportion of marine litter originates from land-based sources, limiting waste discharges from ships also plays an essential role in efforts to preserve marine and coastal ecosystems. Based on international law, EU legislation requires vessels to bring the waste they generate on voyages to waste-reception facilities in port, and obliges EU ports to provide such facilities to ships using the port. Despite these developments, discharges at sea continue. In January 2018, the European Commission put forward a new legislative proposal seeking to improve the collection of ship waste while ensuring efficient maritime transport operations in ports. Interinstitutional negotiations concluded on 13 December 2018. The final text was adopted by the Parliament on 13 March 2019 and then by the Council on 29 March. The Directive was then signed on 17 April by the presidents of the two institutions and will be published in the Official Journal shortly.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2021-2027

22-05-2019

The European Commission has proposed a new regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) as part of the next EU budget framework for the 2021-2027 period. The European Parliament established its first-reading position on the proposal on 4 April 2019. The new fund will continue to support the EU common fisheries policy and the Union's maritime policy. The proposal aims to simplify the delivery of the fund compared to the very complex legal framework in use for the current EMFF. It ...

The European Commission has proposed a new regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) as part of the next EU budget framework for the 2021-2027 period. The European Parliament established its first-reading position on the proposal on 4 April 2019. The new fund will continue to support the EU common fisheries policy and the Union's maritime policy. The proposal aims to simplify the delivery of the fund compared to the very complex legal framework in use for the current EMFF. It therefore presents a more flexible architecture: this would allow Member States to use the funds where they see the greatest need, instead of being bound to a list of pre-defined measures and eligibility rules. Small-scale coastal fisheries and outermost regions would receive greater preferential treatment. It further proposes increased support for international ocean governance and stronger synergies with other EU policies. The fund is also expected to contribute to the development of the blue economy and support the EU's climate objectives. Negotiations with the Council on the proposal are expected to start in the new term. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Overhauling fisheries technical measures

11-04-2019

Technical measures in fisheries govern the different fishing practices that can be used to catch fish, as well as the areas and seasons for fishing. Aimed at limiting unwanted catches and the impact of fishing on marine ecosystems, EU technical measures have developed over time into a notoriously complicated regulatory structure, which came to be seen as a plethora of ineffective rules under rigid governance. During the April II session, Parliament is due to vote on giving formal approval to a new ...

Technical measures in fisheries govern the different fishing practices that can be used to catch fish, as well as the areas and seasons for fishing. Aimed at limiting unwanted catches and the impact of fishing on marine ecosystems, EU technical measures have developed over time into a notoriously complicated regulatory structure, which came to be seen as a plethora of ineffective rules under rigid governance. During the April II session, Parliament is due to vote on giving formal approval to a new legislative framework that would change the governance structure of technical measures. The proposed framework is designed to simplify the current system, to increase its flexibility through a regionalised approach adapted to the specificities of each EU sea basin, and to optimise the contribution of the technical measures to the objectives of the common fisheries policy. The text also provides for a total ban on electric pulse trawl fishing from 1 July 2021, with the possibility for Member States to immediately prohibit or restrict this type of fishing in their coastal waters.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, April I 2019

05-04-2019

Highlights of the April I plenary session included debates on the Future of Europe with Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and on UK withdrawal from the EU. Important debates also took place on several legislative proposals, and Members voted on proposals including the mobility package files debated during the March II plenary session on rules for posted road transport workers and on working conditions for drivers. Parliament also adopted first-reading positions on three further proposed funding ...

Highlights of the April I plenary session included debates on the Future of Europe with Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and on UK withdrawal from the EU. Important debates also took place on several legislative proposals, and Members voted on proposals including the mobility package files debated during the March II plenary session on rules for posted road transport workers and on working conditions for drivers. Parliament also adopted first-reading positions on three further proposed funding programmes for the 2021-2027 period.

Multiannual plan for fisheries in the Western Waters

05-04-2019

The European Parliament and Council adopted a new multiannual plan for management of fisheries in the Western Waters, an area of the north-east Atlantic along the western coast of the EU. The plan covers fisheries exploiting stocks of fish and crustaceans living close to the sea bottom (i.e. 'demersal fisheries'), including several deep-sea stocks. It aims to ensure that these stocks are exploited sustainably and that their management is based on the most up-to-date scientific information. The fishing ...

The European Parliament and Council adopted a new multiannual plan for management of fisheries in the Western Waters, an area of the north-east Atlantic along the western coast of the EU. The plan covers fisheries exploiting stocks of fish and crustaceans living close to the sea bottom (i.e. 'demersal fisheries'), including several deep-sea stocks. It aims to ensure that these stocks are exploited sustainably and that their management is based on the most up-to-date scientific information. The fishing fleet concerned mainly includes vessels from Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The new plan follows the pattern set by the 2018 North Sea multiannual plan. It allows a certain flexibility in setting fishing opportunities, by defining ranges of fishing mortality based on the best available scientific advice, and introduces safeguard measures to restore stocks when they fall below safe biological limits. The quantified values for fishing mortality or biomass levels are provided by the latest scientific advice available, and directly used by the Council when fixing fishing opportunities. Of particular importance in the eventuality of Brexit, the plan covers British waters off the western and southern UK coast, setting the stage for future fisheries cooperation in the area. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Multiannual plan for demersal fisheries in the western Mediterranean

27-03-2019

During the April I session, Parliament is due to vote on giving formal approval to a multiannual plan for the western Mediterranean fisheries exploiting several stocks of fish and crustaceans living close to the sea bottom (i.e. 'demersal fisheries'). Most of these stocks have long been overfished and are now in an alarming state. The proposed plan aims to reverse this trend and ensure that fishing activities are environmentally sustainable, and capable of securing economic and social benefits. The ...

During the April I session, Parliament is due to vote on giving formal approval to a multiannual plan for the western Mediterranean fisheries exploiting several stocks of fish and crustaceans living close to the sea bottom (i.e. 'demersal fisheries'). Most of these stocks have long been overfished and are now in an alarming state. The proposed plan aims to reverse this trend and ensure that fishing activities are environmentally sustainable, and capable of securing economic and social benefits. The plan concerns fishing fleets from Italy, Spain and France, totalling almost 10 900 vessels. The new regulation will introduce a fishing-effort regime for all trawlers operating in the region, under which the Council will set each year, on the basis of scientific advice, the maximum number of fishing days for each fleet category by Member State. In addition, the plan will restrict trawlers from operating in waters shallower than 100 m located within 6 nautical miles of the coast, for three months per year, to reserve the coastal zone for more selective fishing gear. The plan will also establish regional cooperation among the Member States concerned, with a view to developing provisions on the obligation to land all catches and on the conservation of resources through technical measures.

Środki zarządzania rybołówstwem na Morzu Śródziemnym

20-03-2019

Jako członek Generalnej Komisji Rybołówstwa Morza Śródziemnego (GFCM) Unia Europejska ma obowiązek przyjęcia w prawie UE odnośnych środków ochrony i zarządzania, tak aby miały one zastosowanie do unijnych statków rybackich. Podczas drugiej marcowej sesji plenarnej Parlament Europejski ma głosować nad wnioskiem Komisji w sprawie transpozycji nowych środków GFCM, które wykraczają poza obowiązujące przepisy.

Jako członek Generalnej Komisji Rybołówstwa Morza Śródziemnego (GFCM) Unia Europejska ma obowiązek przyjęcia w prawie UE odnośnych środków ochrony i zarządzania, tak aby miały one zastosowanie do unijnych statków rybackich. Podczas drugiej marcowej sesji plenarnej Parlament Europejski ma głosować nad wnioskiem Komisji w sprawie transpozycji nowych środków GFCM, które wykraczają poza obowiązujące przepisy.

The African Union's blue strategy

14-03-2019

Harnessing ocean resources in a sustainable manner is the 'new frontier of the African renaissance', according to the African Union. To this end, the African Union has designed an ambitious maritime strategy aimed at restoring ocean health, reinstating security at sea, and strengthening strategic 'blue growth' sectors. The EU is supporting this strategy, which is in line with the main aspects of its own approach to the Africa-EU partnership.

Harnessing ocean resources in a sustainable manner is the 'new frontier of the African renaissance', according to the African Union. To this end, the African Union has designed an ambitious maritime strategy aimed at restoring ocean health, reinstating security at sea, and strengthening strategic 'blue growth' sectors. The EU is supporting this strategy, which is in line with the main aspects of its own approach to the Africa-EU partnership.

Ocean governance and blue growth: Challenges, opportunities and policy responses

13-03-2019

Oceans cover more than two thirds of the earth and are a vital element of life on our planet. They are not only a primary source of food, but also central to the carbon cycle; they regulate the climate and produce most of the oxygen in the air we breathe. They also play an important socio-economic role. The 'blue economy', covering traditional sectors such as fisheries, extraction of oil and gas, maritime transport and coastal tourism, as well as new, fast-growing industries such as offshore wind ...

Oceans cover more than two thirds of the earth and are a vital element of life on our planet. They are not only a primary source of food, but also central to the carbon cycle; they regulate the climate and produce most of the oxygen in the air we breathe. They also play an important socio-economic role. The 'blue economy', covering traditional sectors such as fisheries, extraction of oil and gas, maritime transport and coastal tourism, as well as new, fast-growing industries such as offshore wind, ocean energy and blue biotechnology, show great potential for further economic growth, employment creation and innovation. At the same time, oceans face pressures, mainly associated with the over-exploitation of resources, pollution and the effects of climate change. In recent years, ocean pollution from plastics has received more attention from the public and has been high on policy-makers' agendas. At global level, the European Union is an active player in protecting oceans and shaping ocean governance. It has made progress by taking measures in a series of areas: maritime security, marine pollution, sustainable blue economy, climate change, marine protection, and sustainable fisheries; by working towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda sustainable development goal on oceans of the; and by taking part in the negotiations on a new international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. In encouraging the blue economy, the EU also recognises the environmental responsibilities that go along with it. Healthy, clean oceans guarantee the long-term capacity to sustain such economic activities, while a natural decline threatens the ecosystem of the planet as a whole and ultimately, the well-being of our societies. The conservation of marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy, EU action under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the establishment of marine protected areas are key EU policies in protecting the marine environment. They are complemented by recent environmental legislative initiatives such as the directive on single-use plastics to reduce marine litter.

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