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The Common Fisheries Policy: An enforcement problem

Da Rocha, JM, Cerviño, S., Villasante, S. Marine Policy (2012) doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2012.02.025


Marine populations in Europe are in decline due to the unsuccessful results of the Common Fisheries Policy. By combining data of scientific recommendations from ICES, TACs approved and reported landings with an age-structured model, the objectives of this paper are to investigate the level of compliance of the TAC regulation, and the level of enforcement and its economic impact on fishery resources. The results presented here suggest that while there does not exist a regular pattern between TAC proposal and TAC approved, there is a clear pattern between TAC approved and reported landings. As a consequence, there is a regular lack of enforcement at national fisheries authority level. The paper also presents results of the recovery plans for the Southern hake and the Atlantic cod fisheries as case studies to illustrate the level of enforcement based on collusion between national fisheries advisers and industry. The results from both cases studies analysed here indicate that drastic solutions could generate positive results for the recovery of the stocks, but perhaps they are not always the best measure in fisheries management due to the high economic losses for fishermen and social effects on coastal communities in the short and medium term. Finally, this work demonstrates that if the recovery plans had been implemented, the net present profits for both fisheries would have increased over time.

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Keywords: Enforcement, Common Fisheries Policy, TAC regulation, Southern Hake (Merluccius merluccius), Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), fisheries

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