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«Europe and the Tragedy of the Commons: A detailed analysis of the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) euryopa Institut européen de ...»

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"Bilateral fisheries agreements lay out a general framework for the access to the waters of these countries to the community fleet"80.

These are agreements between the EU and third countries.

Regional fisheries organisations (RFOs) currently also manage an important part of the resources and waters to which the community has access to. RFOs are created by international agreements. The community is part of some of these RFOs. The Commission states that they are meant to strengthen regional cooperation to guarantee conservation and sustainable exploitation of fish stocks81. Unfortunately, until now it has been impossible to adopt a Community position on the control of fishing activities in the framework of RFOs. There exists therefore an urgent need to define the responsibilities of the Commission and the Member States respectively in this domain, especially regarding the implementation of monitoring arrangements adopted and applied by RFOs82. If the Community is not able to come to terms with these matters a continuation of the Community fleets presence in those waters might not be wanted and accepted by RFOs.

The Community also established fishing agreements with developing countries such as African and Indian Ocean countries, which are currently not fully exploiting their fishing resources, probably due to lack of financial assistance by their governments and technical underdevelopment. A financial contribution is 79 IEEP, Integrated Framework for Fisheries Partnership Agreements with Third Countries, Briefing No.11, London, February 2003.

80 http://europa.eu.int.

81 http://europa.eu.int/comm 82 www.ies.be, op. cit.

Europe and the "Tragedy of the Commons" 43 allocated by the Community to those countries where its fleet has fishing access83.

Third country agreements of the EU increasingly contain development and environment measures. Through Fisheries Partnerships Agreements with various countries the Commission seeks to promote sustainable development and recovery measures for depleted fish stock in these access waters84. European fishing vessels have bought access rights to these waters and it is thus their responsibility to rebuild resources as they contribute to the depletion of stock in these waters. Furthermore, it is evident that EU distant water vessels have to comply with rules and principles according to the coastal States’ objectives. The fleet has to make sure that it uses scientific and technical advice with the aim of avoiding the overexploitation of these resources. Third countries such as Angola, Gabon, and Senegal sell fishing rights because of their dependence of additional income and the EU relies on these agreements in order to ensure workplaces and meet the demand for fish. It would be a criminal offence to take advantage of this reliance of developing countries by refraining from a sustainable resource management. Yet, partnership agreements should also have the objective to transmit technical knowledge to third countries and assist them with using their resources in a sustainable but also beneficial manner.

However, it has to be taken into account that with progressive technological change and advantage, the third countries also desire to extend and modernise their antiquated fishing industry which is perfectly legitimate. Thus, it is increasingly difficult for the EU to sign bilateral agreements with countries of stock surplus. Yet, if third countries modernise their fleets and fishing industry, this will at the same time result in an increase of scarce fish stock 83 Angola, Cape Verde, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kiribati, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles.

84 IEEP, Integrated Framework for Fisheries Partnership Agreements with

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exploitation and equally raise competition on the extending globalising markets.

Europe and the "Tragedy of the Commons" 45

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The following table lists some facts concerning the EU fishing fleet by Member State. It gives an inside of the number of vessels, the tonnage and the amount of engine power each of the 13 countries possessed in 2002. The reason for stating only 13 countries of the 15 EU Member States in this diagram is due to the fact that two socalled landlocked countries are represented in the EU, namely Austria and Luxembourg. It would be a fallacy to assume that Austria and Luxembourg do not contribute to the EU fishery sector.

It only refers to fleet details which these two countries do not own.

Table 2: Facts of Member States fishing fleet in 2002

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Austria’s fisheries economy only incorporates aquaculture and freshwater fishing, due to the countries geographical situation.

Experts generally use the term landlocked country when referring to countries which have no coastal regions and which are thus entirely surrounded by land. Austria’s fish farming is concentrated on two main species, carp and trout, and their production came to 2 393 tonnes (approx. 12 239 Euros) in 200185. Aquaculture offers approximately 300 full time jobs, 500 part time jobs as well as around 1 500 seasonal workplaces; the processing industry offers another 100 job opportunities. Freshwater fishing accounted to 445 tonnes (2.7 Mio. ECU) in 1998 and employed 150 persons on a part time basis86. Austrian per capita consumption of fish in 1999 amounted to a low of 11.4 kg and therefore comes last of all EU 15 Member States. They do not seem to be very fond of fish.





Belgium has a fleet capacity of 130 vessels in 2002 which is a reduction of 18 vessels in comparison with 1998, yet there has not been a decrease in the tonnage and in the engine power. On the contrary, the tonnage lies with 24 276 in 2002 (23 082 in 1997) and the engine power with 66 699 in 2002 (64 896kW) 87. Despite the decrease in the number of vessels there is an increase in tonnage and kW which should not be underestimated. The new CFP has as a major focus the reduction of the EU’s fishing fleet in numbers as well as tonnage and kW in order to support a sustainable fisheries 85 EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Total Aquaculture production by Member State (2001)" in EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Facts & Figures on the CFP, Basic Data on the Common Fisheries Policy, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg 2004, p. 16, accessible on the web http://.europa.eu.int/fisheries 86 EUROPÄISCHE KOMMISSION, "Die Fischereiwirtschaft in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten", Kapitel 2 in EUROPÄISCHE KOMMISSION, Grünbuch, Die Zukunft der Gemeinsamen Fischereipolitik, Band II, Luxembourg, Amt für amtliche Veröffentlichungen der Europäischen Gemeinschaften, 2001, p. 59.

87 Ibid.

Europe and the "Tragedy of the Commons" 47 management. Total sum of catches in 2001 lay around 30 217 tonnes; the main species being plaice, common sole, cod, skates and anglerfish. The fresh water fish farming concentrates on common carp, catfish, tilapias and rainbow trout88. Only recently marine aquaculture, mainly for oysters and turbot, has been introduced and thus in Belgium’s marine aquaculture industry is still working in small dimensions with 1 630 tonnes of fish which amounts to € 6 049 million89. Belgium employed 745 persons in the fisheries sector in 1997 of which 87 are part time employees. The total employment rate in the fisheries and aquaculture sector including the processing industry, catching sector, ship repair and industries responsible for imports and exports sums up to 2 759 employees90. The main employment areas centre around Oostende, Zeebrügge and Bruges.

The fish consumption in Belgium amounted to 20.2 kg per capita in 1999.

Denmark: The Danish fleet consisted of 3 874 vessel with 99 339 tonnage and 347 476kW of which 70% are less than 10 m long and 5% more than 20 m long. They have considerably cut their fleet since 199891. The Danish fishing industry counted 19 266 employees in 1997. The total catches lay around 1 510 486 tonnes which makes Denmark the biggest EU fishing nation in terms of catches. From the total catches of the EU Denmark had a share of 24.69% in 200192. The favourite species of Denmark are sandeels, sprat, herring, blue mussel and the Norway pout. Marine fish farming produces approximately 41 573 tonnes of fish which is an estimated value of € 167 045 million. Freshwater fish production concentrates on trout and eel and this industry offers nearly 1 000 job opportunities. Furthermore Denmark has the most capital 88 EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Total Aquaculture production by Member State (2001)", op. cit., p. 20.

89 Ibid, p. 16.

90 Ibid., p. 11 91 Please consult Table 3 below.

92 EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Catches of Member

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intensive processing sector with 8 588 employees, of which 75% account for women93, and a turnover of 1.19 billion ECU in 199894.

Finland’s fleet capacity currently accounts to 3 571 vessels with 188 880kW and 19 883 tonnage, which is a decrease of 14%kW and 18% tonnage compared to 199895. Most vessels operate in finish coastal areas; big trawlers conducting mostly in the Baltic Sea have specialised in herring and sprat fishing. Additional species representing a high demand are perch, pike and whitefish. The total employment rate lies with 6 074 employees which is mainly male dominated and of which around 3 000 operate within the catching sector. Only in the processing sector 50% of the workforce represent women96. Marine aquaculture is held in Finland’s south coastal waters and concentrates mainly on the breeding of rainbow trout where it produced 13 269 tonnes in 1998, pollan and sea trout97. The total figure of aquaculture production amounts to 15 739 tonnes which was an estimated € 44 312 million in 2001; and offers job opportunities for approximately 1 000 employees.

Freshwater fishing in Finland concentrates mainly on salmon and was sold at a profit of 5.8 million ECU in 1998. The economic importance of aquaculture in Finland compared to the total fishery production lies at an astounding 80%98. Aquaculture is a key source of income in the Finish fisheries industry.

France had 8 088 vessels registered in 2002 with a tonnage of 229 749 tonnes and 1 111 330kW. Although the fleet and the engine power have declined by 8.5% and 2.64% respectively since 93 EUROPEAN COMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Total employment in the Fisheries sector", Ibid., pp. 11-12 94 EUROPÄISCHE KOMMISSION, "Die Fischereiwirtschaft in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten", op. cit, p. 61.

95 Ibid.

96EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Total employment in the Fisheries sector", op. cit., p. 13.

97 EUROPÄISCHE KOMMISSION, "Die Fischereiwirtschaft in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten", op. cit.

98 Ibid., EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Catches of Member

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1998, the tonnage has increased by 8.83% which gives cause for concern regarding EU vessel tonnage regulations. 75% of the vessels measure less than 12m99. French fishery generally concentrates on skipjack tuna, yellow fin tuna, pilchard, saithe and herring. The total catches of France accounted for 604 333 tonnes which comes to a share of 9.88% of total EU catches in 2001100. Its fisheries sector employed approximately 66 804 men and women and is therefore the third largest employer country in the fishing sector in the EU. Women are mainly represented in the processing sector with 64%. Marine aquaculture produced 252 062 tonnes of fish in 2001 with a value of € 474 776 million. Aquaculture has an economic importance of 41% in France’s total fishery production and offers 15 853 jobs. This sector concentrates mainly on the breeding of mussels (cupped oysters, blue mussel and Mediterranean mussel) as well as rainbow trout and common carp101. France is the fourth biggest consumer of fishery products with approximately 30 kg per head per year102.

Germany: The German fleet reduced their capacity to 2 247 vessels with a tonnage of 69 490 tonnes and 163 912kW in 2002 compared to 2 373 vessels, 75 103 tonnage and 171 457kW in

1998103. This demonstrates German understanding of the seriousness of overfishing. Germany accounts for 2.5% of the total EU fishing fleet. The majority of vessels measure less than 10m and therefore small fishing boats generally seizing ground fish and herring in the North- and Baltic Sea. Only 5% were longer than 20m and hence highsea trawlers104. The highsea fleet is based in 99 EUOPÄISCHE KOMMISSION, "Die Fischereiwirtschaft in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten", op. cit., p. 62 and EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Catches of Member States as a share of total EU catches in 2001", op. cit., p. 14.

100 Ibid.

101 Ibid., pp. 12-20.

102 Ibid., p. 23.

103Ibid. p. 14 and EUROPÄISCHE KOMMISSION, "Die Fischereiwirtschaft in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten", op. cit., p. 62.

104 Ibid., p. 63.

50 Europe and the "Tragedy of the Commons" Bremerhaven, Cuxhaven and Rostock. Medium-sized vessels usually catch shrimps and flat-fish. The top five species seized by the German fleet are herring, mackerel, blue whiting, horse mackerel and shrimps. The catches represented 3.45% (211 187 tonnes) of the total EU catch. The number of employees in 1997 came to 19 529 of which 4 422 are directly employed the catching sector105. There is not a single record of female fishermen in Germany. Their share in the processing sector is however fairly high with a representation of 55% of a total workforce counting 11 280 employees. Marine aquaculture is a significant sector in Germany and had an economic importance of 60% compared to the total fishery production. The production came to 53 409 tonnes with a value of € 156 006 million in 2001. The breeding concentrates mainly on rainbow trout, common carp, blue mussel, eel and cupped oysters. Aquaculture guaranteed 2 865 jobs in 1997.

German per capita consumption in 1999 came last but not least before Austria with 12.4 kg.



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