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Adjustment to Fishing Controls

  • February 6th, 2007
  • Posted by EUA Editor

fishing-trawlker-1-resized.jpgChanges are being studied in the way that the European Union measures fisheries effort, to control the pressure on stocks in the sea.

The European Commission has now published a formal Communication (5.2.07) on ways to improve fishing capacity and effort indicators for its Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

It said:

“At present, capacity is measured in terms of the gross tonnage (GT) of a vessel, and the propulsive power of its engines (kW), while fishing effort is expressed in the number of days vessels spend at sea.

“While the GT system for assessing overall fleet capacity is satisfactory, there are significant flaws in the current method for certifying engine power which need to be remedied.

“Alternative indicators such as the type or size of gear used are discussed and the Commission proposes an action plan comprising case studies, consultation and pilot projects, to investigate this approach further.

“Under the CFP, fishing capacity is measured in terms of vessel size and engine power.

“These indicators are used in the exit-entry regime which ensures that the overall capacity of the EU fleet does not increase as boats are removed from and introduced into the fleet.”

It says fishing effort is defined as fishing capacity multiplied by activity (i.e. time spent fishing), but, “it is also possible that in certain fisheries, soak time might provide a more efficient indicator of the actual level of activity.”

The European Commission said use of recently introduced electronic logbooks for fishing vessels would make regulation and compliance easier.


“Fishing Capacity and Effort”; European Commission, Brussels, 5.2.07; IP/07/137

(Electronic logbooks) “Successful Outcome of November Fisheries Council”; EC Brussels, 22.11.06; IP/06/1609