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Main Measures of the Common Fisheries Reform Adopted by EU Council

17 October 2013

EU - The Council of the European Union has adopted its position on two proposals for regulations on the common fisheries policy (CFP) reform following an early second reading agreement with the European Parliament.

the two proposals are as follows:

  • Proposal for a regulation on the CFP (12007/13) replacing the basic provisions of the common fisheries (basic regulation);
  • Proposal for a regulation on the common organisation of the markets (CMO) in fishery and aquaculture products (12005/13), focusing on market policy issues (market regulation);

The European Parliament's Fisheries Committee approved the political agreement on the two proposals on 18 June 2013. Since then, a detailed legal-linguistic review took place. 

The regulation should be applicable after the final reading in the Plenary of the European Parliament once it has been formally signed and published in the Official Journal.

The regulation on basic provisions of the CFP and the market regulation are two of the three texts of the CFP reform "package" together with the proposal on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) which will be discussed later this year between the EU institutions.

The main elements of the final compromise text on basic provisions of the CFP are as follows:

  • Management of fish stocks including total allowable catches (TACs) & quotas according to the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) following from the scientific advice. This will lead to healthy fish stocks and higher quotas in a lasting manner;
  • The discard of fish stocks will no longer be allowed ending the old policy which forced fishermen to waste food by discarding fish at sea. Some flexibility instruments ensuring the applicability of the measure have been included.
  • Fishermen and other interest groups, as well as national administrations are at the core of developing technical and conservation measures to protect juvenile fish and vulnerable fish species with a completely new regionalised decision making approach.
  • Biologically sensitive areas with spawning grounds and high populations of juvenile fish should be developed and strengthened.


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