European Fisheries Fund (EFF) Sustainability Criteria
A new study has found that financial support is being allocated under the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) to activities with little or no evidence that they are environmentally or socially sustainable. The EFF's goal is to provide financial support for the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Both the EFF and the CFP are responsible for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. However, most EU Member States use application forms which lack sufficient environmental and social assessment criteria. The study is available for download.
The European Fisheries Fund (EFF, 2007–2013) provides financial support to activities intended to further the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) objectives of creating an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable fisheries sector in the EU. A key problem with European fisheries subsidies is that they may often maintain and even increase EU fishing fleet overcapacity. This contributes to the severe overfishing of EU fish stocks and contradicts the CFPs ultimate goal of achieving sustainable fisheries. Lack of consideration of environmental and social criteria in the aid allocation process is one of the reasons for these negative effects. A study by Ecologic Institute investigates the extent to which environmental and social implications are considered within the framework of the current EFF regime. Applications for EFF funding from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom were analysed for their inclusion of key social and environmental criteria. The study focused on applications for funding under Axis 1 (Measures for Adaptation of the Community Fishing Fleet) of the EFF. No single application form requested all relevant information necessary for a comprehensive assessment of social and environmental sustainability.