The Common Fisheries Policy

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the fisheries policy of the European Union, the aim of which is to achieve a thriving and sustainable fishing industry in Europe. It was created in 1983 and is currently in the process of being reviewed.

Major decisions regarding the Common Fisheries Policy are made by Member States’ governments in Council following consultation with the Members of the European Parliament.

What are the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy?

The Common Fisheries Policy:

  • lays down rules to ensure that Europe’s fisheries are sustainable and do not damage the marine environment;
  • provides national authorities with the tools to enforce the fishing rules and to punish offenders;
  • monitors the size of the European fishing fleet to ensure that it does not expand any further;
  • provides funding and technical support for initiatives aimed at making the industry more sustainable;
  • negotiates on behalf of European Union countries in international fisheries organisations and with non-EU countries around the world;
  • helps producers, processors and distributors to obtain a fair price for their produce and ensures that consumers can be confident in the seafood that they eat;
  • supports the development of the aquacultural (farmed fish) sector;
  • funds scientific research and data collection to ensure a sound basis for policy and decision making.

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For more information on:

  • Quotas
  • Stock recovery and technical measures