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Common fisheries policy (CFP)

The EU's common fisheries policy (CFP) has its legal basis in Articles 38-44 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (the same as the common agricultural policy, CAP). The objectives of the CFP (and CAP) are to increase productivity, to stabilise markets and to ensure security of supply and reasonable prices to the consumer. The CFP is an area of exclusive competence of the EU.

In 2013, the CFP was reformed. A key priority is to ensure that EU fishing and aquaculture sectors are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. For this, marine biological resources are protected and, progressively, the discarding of fish will be completely banned by 2019. EU countries must also ensure that their fishing fleet capacity is in line with the fishing opportunities over time. The financial instrument in support of the CFP reform (the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2014-2020) provides grants to implement the transition to sustainability and to improve the common organisation of the markets for fishery and aquaculture products. Given their importance to the coastal communities, sustainable small-scale fisheries are encouraged and supported.