Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Optimising fisheries management in Europe

European fisheries are facing economic and ecological issues, even though the EU produces almost 7 million tonnes of fish, or 5 % of the total global output. An EU initiative developed solutions to help restore the viability of fisheries and boost their global competitiveness.
Optimising fisheries management in Europe
A radical approach to fisheries management is needed to safeguard commercial fish stocks and secure fishermen's livelihood, while stopping overfishing and depletion of fish stocks.

Overall, the EU-funded project 'Design and implementation of optimal management systems for European fisheries' (DIOMFISH) aimed to develop an optimised management system to promote sustainable fisheries in the EU. The system efficiently allocates fishing rights to EU Member States as part of their national quotas, requiring minimum enforcement. Fishermen will then have enough incentives to obey their quotas.

Work began with an extensive review of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the EU's instrument for the management of fisheries and aquaculture. The relevance of current European management systems was analysed. Current fishery policies in EU Candidate Countries were also analysed.

An economic and environmental fisheries model was developed on how to create an optimal management system. It was based on the identified drawbacks of the CFP and the management systems. To test the model, case studies were carried out in fisheries in the Baltic, Black, Mediterranean and North Seas. The cases compared the effectiveness of the developed management systems with the current situation.

With the management system as a basis, recommendations were made on how to successfully implement the principles and objectives of the CFP. This was done by aligning the interests of fishermen and European policymakers, stakeholders and countries. In addition, a report highlighted the changes required.

DIOMFISH identified the problems currently plaguing European fisheries and offered solutions for their practical and efficient management. By getting fish stocks back to a healthy state and enabling fishermen and coastal communities to thrive, Europeans will have a wider choice of fresh fish for years to come.

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Fisheries, fish, fish stocks, overfishing, aquaculture
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