"Fishing in the EU maritime area is increasingly unsustainable." Discuss this statement with reference to the Common Fisheries Policy.

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Mark Johnston                01/05/2007

European Union Essay

“Fishing in the EU maritime area is increasingly unsustainable.” Discuss this statement with reference to the Common Fisheries Policy.

Sustainability of fishing is the ability to continue the practice of fishing indefinitely. This means that the amount of fish removed, are naturally replaced. Not only does fishing contribute to the depletion in the amount of fish available, but also factors such as pollution and the destruction of natural habitats/ resources will cause lower amounts of fish to naturally occur.

In the EU fishing is becoming more unsustainable, and evidence of this is clear as in 1985about 1750 thousand tonnes of cod, haddock and hake were caught in the EU, within five years this had fallen to just 1050 thousand tonnes, and ever since 1990 it has reached no higher than 1150 in 1995.

One of the biggest problems that fishing faces is the fact that the seas are not owned by any one particular country. This means that the amount of fishing in a sea is not easy to control as a result. For this to occur one body which can control many countries has to set out regulations which must be kept to and monitored. The reason for this is because without control fishing will grow out of control and cause fish numbers to deplete to such an extent that it cannot be regenerated. This can not occur without the agreement of several countries because if for example Britain said it would stop fishing in the North Sea for cod to replenish the stock, and Norway did not do the same, the stock would not be able to replenish itself. This is due to the fact that Norway would catch a larger percentage of the fish, which would take into account the fish Britain would previously have caught, and therefore no change would occur.

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As a result of one body being required to control the levels of fishing the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was introduced in 1983 to try and make fishing sustainable. The CFP has three main ways of trying to achieve this; having quotas, reducing fishing effort (this is the amount size and power of fishing fleets multiplied by the amount of days spent at sea), and giving economic support to fishing communities who no longer have fishing-or whose fishing has depleted as a result of the CFP.

The quotas are set annually and work on a total allowable ...

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