Glossary:Common fisheries policy (CFP)

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The Common fisheries policy, abbreviated as CFP, is the European Union (EU) policy for managing the fisheries in the waters of Member States. Its objectives are:

  • increasing productivity;
  • stabilizing markets;
  • ensuring security of supply and reasonable prices to the consumer.

Although a common fisheries policy was already provided for in the Treaty of Rome in 1957, it did not become a common policy in the full sense of the term until 1983. The CFP has the same legal basis (Articles 32-38 of the EC Treaty) as the Common agricultural policy and shares the same aims mentioned above. Like the CAP, the CFP is a shared responsibility of the European Union and its Member States.

Successive reforms have added new aims to the initial goals of the CFP:

  • sustainable exploitation of resources;
  • protection of the environment;
  • safeguards for a high level of human health protection;
  • contributing to economic and social cohesion.

Protection of fish stocks and the marine environment especially is a key issue, given the threat posed by resource depletion.

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