Europe in second week of July 2013 reached to a historic agreement to reform its Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The agreement promises to reverse decades of excessive overfishing by the European Fleets. The reform of the CFP is evidence that Europe is embracing a pathway towards a green economy.
The Common Fisheries Policy Covers
• Rebuilding of fish stocks
• Setting-up of legally binding targets to end overfishing alongside reducing catches of non-target fish as well as wasteful discarding
• It can mark watershed in the European Union's resolve towards sustainable fisheries
The need to eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies was recognized by the European Union and the International Community in 2002 and the same commitment was reaffirmed for being done in 2012 at the Rio+20 Summit.
To support the objectives of the CFP from 2014 to 2020, the European policy makers (the parliament and ministers) would have to agree on the renewed fisheries subsidies regime – the proposed European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
To prohibit subsidies that lead to overcapacity and overfishing, the negotiations of the World Trade Organisation also produced real progress towards a binding agreement, which continued to be in existence till the crash of the Doha Rounds in 2009. The crash left, fisheries subsidies reform fall a prey to the global trade politics.
Worldwide Fisheries employs 12 percent of world population directly or indirectly providing job and economic benefits to them. Fish is also a critical component of the global food security and a major source of Protein for more than a billion of people. According to the World Bank and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, an end to overfishing could recoup an estimated 50 billion US dollar per year which is being lost due to the unsustainable practices involved in fishing.
The EMFF legislation provides a unique opportunity for the EU to showcase its commitment to greening an important sector of its economy.