Fisheries management in the European Communities
In 1971, the European Communities introduced a Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which was more fully developed in 1983. Its success remains largely questionable because it has failed to conserve fish stocks, has been unable to tackle the problem of vessel overcapacity or to generate rents from the fishery resource. This thesis presents an overview of the main components of the CFP and assesses their impact on different aspects of the fishing industry. The economic and biological knowledge on which the fisheries management is based has been evaluated and a management scheme for reforming the CFP is proposed. The thesis initially surveys the literatures in fisheries economics and in fish population dynamics. These should provide the basis for efficient management, and their role is evaluated. European Community institutions and the procedures which are involved in the policy formation are examined. Particular attention is paid to the evolution of the legislative framework of the Common Fisheries Policy from its establishment to the latest developments. The work evaluates the main constituent parts of the CFP, whose objectives are the rational development of the production factors, a fair standard of living for the producers, a stable market and the availability of supplies for consumers. The main conclusions reached are that the policy has been consistent with a decline in fish stocks, an increase in vessel capacity, a failure to stabilise market prices and a decline in the average fisherman's income. These outcomes can be attributed largely to an inadequate policy framework, which ignores the main conclusions of fisheries economics, and to an inadequate system of information gathering and of policing the regulations.