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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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Greece: The Greek fleet owned 19 747 vessels with 104 225 tonnage and 606 118kW in 2002. Greece has complied with the EU’s regulation by cutting down its fleet since 1998106. Yet, the Greek fleet is the biggest in the EU with a share of 21.8% of the EUs fishing fleet. 94% of the registered vessels measure less than 12m. Greece’s top five species in the fishery sector are pilchard and anchovy, picarels, bogue and horse mackerel. The total catches of Greece in 2001 represented a share of 1.54% of the total EU catches (94 394 tonnes) which is astonishing considering the size of the fleet. The total employment rate lies at 49 525 employees in the entire fishery sector where women are generally underrepresented with only 7% in the catching sector, 10% in aquaculture and 11% in the processing sector. However when comparing the 7% figure of the Greek catching sector with other EU nations, Greece demonstrates the highest female employment rate in this area.

Marine aquaculture focuses on the production of gilthead seabream, 105 EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Total employment in the Fisheries sector", op.cit., p. 12.

106 Please consult Table 2 below for the exact figures.

Europe and the "Tragedy of the Commons" 51 sea bass, Mediterranean mussel, rainbow trout and eel. Aquaculture plays a vital role in Greece’s fishery economy; its economic importance is rated at 58.6% in 2001. 97 802 tonnes of fish were produced in fish farms which comes to a value of € 344 654 million107. It is surprising to note that 65% of the aquaculture production is being exported mainly to Italy108. In 2001, the total employment rate in fish farming was 3 164 employees. The key processing locations in Greece are Thessalonica, Attica and Kavala, although this branch of industry does not constitute a significant part in Greece as in other EU nations. The total per capita consumption of fish lies around 25 kg per year109.

Ireland registered 1 448 vessels with a tonnage of 72 661 and 210 624kW in 2002. The Irish represent one of the few countries that disobey EU regulation and that have increased the number of operating vessels, tonnage and engine power. 14% vessel increase, 16% increase in tonnage and 9.5% increase in engine power are a considerable threat for a sustainable fishing industry one might think. However, the total share of the EU fishing fleet by the Irish only represents 1.6% and is consequently not as threatening as one might suppose. 70% of the boats measure less than 15m and operate within the coastal boundaries of Ireland, i.e. within the 12-milezone. The total catches make up 5.8% (356 309 tonnes) of the total 15 Member State catches in 2002. The catching sector focuses mainly on mackerel, horse mackerel, herring and sardinellas as well as the blue whiting and cod110. The fishing sector employed 15 542 men and women. Female workers are well represented in the processing sector with 45 % of 4 920 as well as in aquaculture with 30% of 2 198 total employees. The catching sector is entirely male dominated with 6 274 employees. The total aquaculture production in 2001 accounted for 60 935 tonnes with a value of € 102 157 107 Ibid., p. 16.

108 EUROPÄISCHE KOMMISSION, "Die Fischereiwirtschaft in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten", op. cit., p. 64.

109 EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Catches of Member

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million. The economic importance of aquaculture compared to the total fishery production lays around 35% in Ireland. The main species produced in fish farms are blue mussel, salmon, cupped oyster, rainbow trout and flat oyster.

Italy has a fleet capacity of 16 045 vessels with 215 242 tonnage and 1 289 681kW, representing a downward trend in the number of vessels, tonnage and engine power compared to 1998. Most vessels are little boats, 87% of these having less than 25 tonnage111. The Italian fleet represents 17.7% of the EU fishing fleet and is therefore the second largest EU fleet with the highest engine power in the EU112. Due to the nature and size of the boats they are bound to operate in coastal zones. The total catches add up to 310 403 tonnes in 2001 which amounts to a share of approximately 5% of the total EU catches. The nets are mainly filled with the following species: Mediterranean mussel, anchovy, striped venus, pilchard and hake. The catches of small boats are generally directly sold to restaurants or on the markets. Catches of bigger vessels are usually transferred for processing to the key processing firms in Nepal, Venice, Bari and Trapani113. Italy comes second to Spain in terms of employment capacities/rates in the EU with 106 984 people. This number can be divided into 43 547 employees in the catching sector, 8 665 employees aquaculture production of which 11% are female and 6 448 employees in the processing sector; 37% of this workforce is female. Marine aquaculture produced 221 269 tonnes of fish in 2001which is an equivalent of € 475 968 million. The concentration lies on Mediterranean mussel, manila calm, rainbow trout, sea bass and gilthead seabream. The economic importance of aquaculture constitutes around 33% in the total fishery production and is therefore not the major source of income.

Luxembourg is another landlocked country and has no importance to the European fisheries industry. It has no fleet 111 EUROPÄISCHE KOMMISSION, "Die Fischereiwirtschaft in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten", op.cit., p. 65.





112 EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Jobs, Total employment

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capacity at all, however one or two fish farms. The processing industry offers 5 jobs and if one includes importers and employees who work on vessels of other EU nations it may account to roughly 35 employment opportunities114.

The Netherlands counted 932 vessels with a tonnage of 200 068, which is an increase of 13% compared to 1998, and 470 031kW in 2002. The 932 vessels are divided into refrigerator trawler operating in high sea fishing, small mussel-catch-boats manoeuvring in the 12-mile-zone and vessels fishing in EU waters.

In comparison to other Member States the Dutch fleet owns a lot of large boats; 55% of the Dutch vessels measure more than 24m115.

The number of the Dutch fleet is however with a share of 1% of the EU’s fishing fleet not very significant. The more astounding it is to observe that the Netherlands are the fifth largest fishing nation of the EU in terms of catches in 2001. Despite the insignificant number vessels the fishing sector managed to have a yield of 518 163 tonnes, 8.5% of EU 15 catches four years ago116. The favourite species mostly discovered in the catches are sardinellas, herring, horse mackerel, mackerel and blue whiting. The catching sector by itself guarantees 2 379 jobs of which 5% are female. In total 11 800 jobs are presented by the fishing sector. Marine aquaculture employed 404 persons in 1997 and concentrates mainly of the breeding of blue mussels, eel, cupped oysters, cat fish and flat oyster. The yield of this activity came to 52 064 tonnes in 2002 which is a return of € 119 224 million. Aquaculture constitutes 25% of the total fishery Dutch production. A yearly consumption of 20.5 kg per capita was recorded in 1999.

Portugal registered a fleet capacity of 10 427 vessels with 116 734 tonnage and 401 186kW in 2002. It has to be noted that the engine power has been slightly increased from the previous 393 114 EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Jobs, Total employment in the fisheries sector (1997)", op. cit., pp. 11-13.

115 EUROPÄISCHE KOMMISSION, "Die Fischereiwirtschaft in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten", op.cit., p. 66.

116 EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Jobs, Total employment

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671kW in1998. Portugal accounts for 11.5% of the total EU fleet and has registered 191 090 tonnes worth of fish yield in 2002117.

Considering that Portugal is the prime country to consume fish with a per capita consumption of 61.1 kg per year, the total catches of 3.12% of the total EU catch is minimal. The per capita consumption of fish in Portugal is remarkably high. The EU in general notes an extraordinary record of per capita fish consumption with an average of 24.5 kg per annum. This figure exceeds the average world consumption of 16 kg per capita per annum118. 96% of the Portuguese ships operate in coastal areas with various catching techniques/equipments. It is therefore a matter of rather small boats with a low tonnage capacity seizing a wide spectrum of species such as pilchard, horse mackerel, redfish, octopuses and black scabberdfish119. The catching sector guaranteed 29 416 jobs in 1996.

Fish farms in Portugal generally produce clams, gilthead seabream, rainbow trout as well as sea bass and blue mussel. Natural mussel breeding in near coastal areas is a typical characteristic in the southern Portuguese regions. The production outcome of 2002 amounted to 7 824 tonnes with a value of € 59 931 million. The total employment in the fishery sector was registered with a number of 44 391 employees in 1996. Aquaculture signifies neither a significant nor a substantial economic importance compared to the total fishery production with only 17.1%.

Spain: The Spanish fleet counted 14 887 vessels with a tonnage of 519 878 and 1 257 221kW and is with a share of 16.4% the third largest fleet of the EU. Spain has considerably reduced its fleet according to EU regulations. The majority of vessels measure less than 12m and operate in coastal areas. Although Spain has a smaller disposal of vessels than Greece, they have a bigger catching capacity and come second to Denmark in terms of catches with 1 087 496 tonnes. This is a share of 17.78% of the total EU catches120.

117 Ibid.

118 Ibid., p. 23.

119 Ibid., p. 7, EUROPÄISCHE KOMMISSION, "Die Fischereiwirtschaft in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten", op. cit., p. 67.

120 EUROPEAN COMMISSION, DG Fisheries, "Catches of Member Europe and the "Tragedy of the Commons" 55 Additionally, it should be noted that Spain possesses the highest tonnage in the EU with a share 26.5%, and the second largest engine power after Italy with a share of 17.3 %121. The catches primarily consist of skipjack tuna, yellow fin tuna, pilchard, horse mackerel and short-fin squid. Spain is therefore the only country which concentrates its catches predominantly on tuna. Furthermore, the Iberian Peninsula seems to be the leading consumer of fishery products. As we have seen Portugal consumes 61.1 kg of fish per head, per annum; Spain comes second to Portugal with a yearly per capita consumption of 44.4 kg122. The Spanish fleet operates in different world wide waters such as the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean mainly in coastal areas near West Africa as well as in the South and North Atlantic. The fishery sector involves in 1996 approximately 132 631 employees, including full-time, part-time and seasonal workers as well as the processing sector, aquaculture and ancillary industries. The catching sector by itself already guarantees 68 275 jobs of which one per cent are female. The processing sector is with 75% female workers of 16 850 total employees a female dominated area123. Aquaculture does not represent an eminent economic importance with 19.7% but offers 14 845 jobs. This figure makes Spain the second largest employer in aquaculture after France. The yield of aquaculture amounts to 312 647 tonnes and was hence the biggest aquaculture producer in the EU 15 in 2001. The total aquaculture production turnover valued € 444 246 million124. Fish farms, generally situated in Galicia, usually concentrate on the breeding of the blue mussel, rainbow trout, gilthead seabream, blue fin tuna and flat oysters.

Sweden had 1 820 vessels with a tonnage of 45 373 tonnes and 224 450kW at their disposal in 2002. Sweden has a fairly small fleet and merely represents 2% of the total EU 15 fleet. Taking this into account it is astonishing to observe that Sweden accounted for __________________

States as a share of total EU catches in 2001", op. cit., pp. 4-5.

121 Ibid., p. 15.

122 Ibid., p. 23.

123 Ibid., pp. 11-12.

124 Ibid., p. 16.

56 Europe and the "Tragedy of the Commons" 5.10 % (311 828 tonnes) of the total EU 15 catches in 2001125.

Compared to Italy, Sweden has a bigger yield although the Italians have a considerable advantage in their number of vessels. The catching sector offered 2 634 jobs in 1997. In general the employment rate in the Swedish fishery sector is rather low with 7 186 employees126. The vessels mainly seize herring, sprat, sand eels, blue whiting and cod in the North and Baltic Sea. Cod and herring are endangered species and the EU as well as various governments and green parties are considering of putting a catching ban on herring and cod. Greenpeace even goes a step further in proposing that marine resorts where any kind of fishing activity is prohibited should be extended to 40%. Although conservation and marine resource management measures, sustainable fishing activities and a relieve of the pressure on fish stock have to be put into force, the economic and financial hardship posed to fishermen with this action would not be supportable by any government. Aquaculture has an economic importance of merely 12.1%. The production of rainbow trout, blue mussel, chars, eel and crayfish amounted to 6 773 tonnes which is an equivalent of € 17 480 million. The employment rate in 1998 lay with 1 993 employees of which 48% are female workers.

United Kingdom: The UK fleet capacity amounted to 7 379 vessels with a tonnage of 246 589 tonnes and 921 218kW in 2002127. 63% of the ships are less than 10 meters long; nevertheless the UK holds the third place in terms of highest tonnage in the EU 15 with 12.6% and represents 8.1% of the total fishing fleet.

Besides, in terms of catches the UK is equally third largest fishing nation in the EU with a yield of 741 075 tonnes in 2001, which is a share of 12.11% of the total catches128. The favoured species seized are mackerel, herring, haddock, cod and blue whiting. A catching ban on herring and cod in the North and Baltic Seas would also heavily burden the British fishing industry, although in the long run they would undoubtedly benefit from the conservation measures.

125 Ibid., pp. 4-5.

126 Ibid., pp. 11-13.

127 Ibid., pp. 14-15.

128 Ibid., pp. 4-5.



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