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Rebuilding fish stocks and changing fisheries management, a major challenge for the Common Fisheries Policy reform in Europe

Villasante S. et al. Ocean & Coastal Management (2012),


In the European Union (EU), subsidies to the !shing industry and lack of compliance and enforcement of fishing regulations have led to a chronic overcapacity and a general decline of commercial !sh stocks. The entire fisheries sector (extractive fishing, fish canning and commercialization subsectors) is still affected, with all directly and indirectly employed people being impacted by the overfishing problem. However,fish populations could strongly increase and generate more economic output if they were left for only a few years under less fishing pressure. The papers published in this Special Issue are the products of recent research conducted by European fisheries scientists, economists, and lawyers. A window of opportunity for change is currently open under the current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform. This Special Issue is an attempt to stimulate the debate by providing new findings and formulating new proposals to rebuild stocks, strengthen ecosystems resilience and better manage EU fisheries. The Special Issue consists of eight papers dealing with relevant biological and economic aspects of the management of European fisheries. Together these papers show that the EU fish stocks are under high fishing pressure and that their recovery will generate not only environmental or ecosystem benefits but also greater profitability for the fisheries sector.

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