EU Court of Auditors’ 2011 Report on Over-capacity in the EU Fishing Fleet and the failure of the Common Fisheries Policy to respond

We provide here the full text of the 2012 Report by the EU Court of Auditors into whether the Common Fisheries Policy and the European governmental institutions are properly addressing the question of overcapacity in the EU fishing fleet. The Court of Auditors concludes that there are serious failings and shortcomings in the CFP in this regard, and that European governmental institutions are failing in their legal duty to ensure that EU seas are fished sustainably e.g. matching the size of the fleet to the size and condition of fish stocks. Between 1995 and 2009 the annual tonnage of fish landed by the EU fleet has fallen from 7 million tonnes to 5 million tonnes, and yet between 1992 and 2008 the effective capability of the fishing fleet to catch fish, taking the impact of technological improvements into account, is estimated to have increased by 14%. It is clear that until that overcapacity in the fishing fleet is properly addressed over-fishing will continue and, as a result, fish stocks and the general ecological structure of EU seas will continue to be imperilled. Moreover, this failure to match the capacity of the fleet with the size and condition of stocks is illegal, yet no legal accountability is currently in operation.


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