Common Fisheries Policy Reform and Sustainability (2012:6epa)


Announced in 2011, the proposal for reforming the European Unions’ Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) marks an important shift of emphasis of the policy objectives, towards environmental sustainability. It describes the conservation of marine biological resources as a fundamental pillar of the CFP and, for the first time, sets forth a quantifiable target — the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) — to be achieved within a set time perspective. The implementation mechanisms, however, which were proposed by the European Commission, appear much less radical, and shed doubt on the actual possibility to achieve the expected sustainable result.

Professor Jill Wakefield’s analysis, critically evaluates the reform proposal, and places it in a larger context of the EU environmental policies, proposing alternative—market based—enforcement instruments, which could potentially improve the effectiveness of the proposed regime.

The publication is the first contribution in a series of studies of the concept of sustainability in different EU policy areas, which have been undertaken under the project Sustainability on the EU Agenda. 

The report is part of the research project Sustainability on the eu agenda.

Jill Wakefield is Associate Professor at School of Law, University of Warwick, United Kingdom.