Fishing fleet pressure

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-31-en
Also known as: CSI 034 , MAR 009
Created 04 Nov 2014 Published 03 Mar 2015 Last modified 04 Sep 2015, 06:59 PM
Topics: ,
The EU fishing fleet displays strong regional differences in terms of its composition, but it is mostly made up of small vessels (59%). There has been a marked decrease in fishing fleet capacity (i.e. number of vessels) between 2004 and 2001 , during which time small vessels decreased at an annual rate of approximately 1% and large vessels at 7% . Most of the EU fishing effort is deployed by large vessels (74%) with mobile gears, of which the majority (61%) disturbs the seafloor. The decrease in capacity has been followed by a decrease in the effort of large vessels only (over 7% between 2004-2011), while the effort of small vessels has increased by approximately 5%. This is reflected in an overall shift towards gear with less impact on the seafloor. The observed change of EU fishing effort and the shift towards gear with less impact is indicative of an overall decrease in fishing pressure and impact in European seas between 2004 and 2011.

Key messages

The EU fishing fleet displays strong regional differences in terms of its composition, but it is mostly made up of small vessels (59%). There has been a marked decrease in fishing fleet capacity (i.e. number of vessels) between 2004 and 2001, during which time small vessels decreased at an annual rate of approximately 1% and large vessels at 7% .

Most of the EU fishing effort is deployed by large vessels (74%) with mobile gears, of which the majority (61%) disturbs the seafloor. The decrease in capacity has been followed by a decrease in the effort of large vessels only (over 7% between 2004-2011), while the effort of small vessels has increased by approximately 5%. This is reflected in an overall shift towards gear with less impact on the seafloor.

The observed change of EU fishing effort and the shift towards gear with less impact is indicative of an overall decrease in fishing pressure and impact in European seas between 2004 and 2011.

Is fishing pressure in European seas decreasing?

Capacity of fishing fleet by number of vessels, 2011

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Relative change of the EU fishing fleet capacity by number of vessels, 2004-2011

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Regional fishing effort of EU fishing fleet, 2011

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Regional fishing effort per fishing technique gear category, 2011

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Deployment of EU fishing effort based on categories of fishing techniques/gear

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EU Total - Distribution effort (KWdays-at-sea)
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EU Total - Change effort (%)
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Baltic Sea - Distribution effort (KWdays-at-sea)
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Baltic Sea - Change effort (%)
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North Sea - Distribution effort (KWdays-at-sea)
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North Sea - Change effort (%)
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Celtic Sea - Distribution effort (KWdays-at-sea)
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Celtic Sea - Change effort (%)
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Bay of Biscay - Distribution effort (KWdays-at-sea)
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Bay of Biscay - Change effort (%)
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Western Waters - Distribution effort (KWdays-at-sea)
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Western Waters - Change effort (%)
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Deep Sea - Distribution effort (KWdays-at-sea)
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Deep Sea - Change effort (%)
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Mediterranean Sea - Distribution effort (KWdays-at-sea)
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Mediterranean Sea - Change effort (%)