Recreational fisheries and the CFP

Question

Given that recreational fishing is now included in the common fisheries policy through both the control regulations and the TAC/quota regulations (specifically through the new minimum conservation reference sizes and the bag limit for sea bass), does the Commission therefore believe that the scope of Article 17 of the common fisheries policy should extend to recreational fishing?

Answer

Article 1(1)(a) of the Basic Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 on the common fisheries policy (CFP) does not specifically make mention of recreational fishing, but rather of the conservation of marine biological resources and the management of fisheries and fleets exploiting such resources. This allows, in principle, for conservation and management measures to be adopted under the CFP, which may also affect recreational fisheries. Recital 3 of the Basic Regulation does indicate that recreational fisheries can have a significant impact on fish resources, and that Member States should, therefore, ensure that they are conducted in a manner that is compatible with the objectives of the CFP. This is also consistent with the contents of Recital 27 and with the provisions of Article 55 of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 establishing a Community control system.

The wording of Article 17 of the Basic Regulation does not exclude the extension of its scope to include recreational fishing. It is first and foremost up to the Member States to decide how fishing opportunities are allocated nationally (Article 16 paragraphs 6 and 7). Article 17 then obliges Member States to use transparent and objective criteria for such allocation among their different fleets.

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