Overall fish stocks in EU waters have not been in a good shape for the last 20 years or so. Today 88% of the EU fish stocks are overfished - compared with an average of 25% globally. The EU has continuously tried to reform (particularly in 1992/93 and 2002/03) or incrementally adapt the legal framework of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to solve the problems, which include a substantial overcapacity in the fleet, but these efforts have - as evidenced by the numbers - been insufficient. Lately the Commission of the European Communities has acknowledged that even the latest reform in 2002/03 - to which high hopes were attached - has, in effect, been unable to reverse the trend to the extent necessary; for 2008 the total allowable catches (commonly referred to as TACs) for 49% of EU stocks were set above the scientific advice, which seems to indicate that the negative trend may very well continue to dominate. The next reform of the CFP is scheduled for 2012/13.
The research conducted under this project, as well as the conclusions arrived at, is expected to be broadly relevant to the actors and institutions active in the policy process leading up to the upcoming reform of the CFP in 2012/13. Regionalisation, multi-level governance and the eco-system approach to fisheries management, which can be seen as three key concepts of this project, are all of immediate relevance for the discussion on the upcoming reform, as well. In this way it is the hope and expectation that the project can contribute to the political task of finding an appropriate governance structure for fisheries management in the EU beyond 2012. The continued failure to set up an appropriate governance structure for fisheries management is one of the main explanations for the underperformance of European fisheries management compared to similar management systems in comparable settings around the globe.
Methodologically, the project will focus on the regional level as the neglected and necessary level of governance in EU fisheries management. The project will look at the perspectives and limitations of developing the regional level as a significant policy/management level in the governance structure. At the same time the project will explore the implications of regionalisation on the other relevant levels, particularly the EU and the member state level, as well as look into the political acceptability of regionalisation at the other levels and how political acceptance might be fostered.
Consequently, this project aims to contribute directly to the discussions related to an ongoing policy process, which will per definition be concluded in 2012 only one year after this project ends. The project could as such not be any timelier.
|Periode||01/11/08 → 31/10/11|