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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Fishing fleet capacity / Fishing fleet capacity (CSI 034) - Assessment published Nov 2005

Fishing fleet capacity (CSI 034) - Assessment published Nov 2005

Generic metadata

Topics:

Fisheries Fisheries (Primary topic)

Coasts and seas Coasts and seas

Tags:
fisheries | csi
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 034
Geographic coverage:
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Is the size and capacity of the European fishing fleet being reduced?

Key messages

The size of the EU fishing fleet is following a downward trend, with reductions of 19% in power and 11% in tonnage in the period 1989-2003, and 15% in numbers in the period 1989-2002. Similarly, the combined fleet of Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland and Slovenia decreased its tonnage by 50% over the period 1992-1995. However, the EFTA fleet increased in terms of power (by 12%; 1997-2002) and tonnage (by 34%; 1989-2003) despite a drop in numbers by 40% (1989-2002).

Changes in European fishing fleet capacity: 1989-2003

Note: Power changes refer to 1989-2003 for EU 15 and 1997 -2002 for EFTA

Data source:

DF Fisheries, EUROSTAT, FAO

Downloads and more info

European Fishing Fleet Capacity: Number of vessels, 2003

Note: Data availability: Number of vessels 1989-2002 for EU-15; 1989-1992 & 1998-2002 for EFTA; 1989-1995 & 2001 for EU-10; 1992-1995 & 2001 for AC countries.Legend:Countries have been grouped into the following categories: EU-15 (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Findland, Sweden,United Kingdom), EFTA (Iceland and Norway), EU-10 (new member states: Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, and Slovenia), CC (accession countries: Bulgaria and Romania).

Data source:

DG Fisheries, EUROSTAT, FAO

Downloads and more info

European Fishing Fleet Capacity: Engine Power, 2003

Note: Data availability: 1989-2003 for EU-15; 1997-2002 for EFTA countries, no data for EU-10 and AC countries

Data source:

DG Fisheries, EUROSTAT

Downloads and more info

European Fishing Fleet Capacity: Tonnage, 2003

Note: Data availability: 1989-2003 for EU-15; 1989-1992 & 1998-2003 for EFTA; 1989- 1995 for EC; 1992-1995 for BS countries

Data source:

DG Fisheries, EUROSTAT, FAO

Downloads and more info

Country ratio in European Fishing Fleet Capacity: Engine Power, 2003

Note: Assessment in 2003 for EU 15 and Iceland and 2002 for Norway

Data source:

DG Fisheries, EUROSTAT

Downloads and more info

Country ratio in European Fishing Fleet Capacity: Tonnage, 2003

Note: Assessment in 2003 for EU 15 and EFTA

Data source:

DG Fisheries, EUROSTAT, FAO

Downloads and more info

Country ratio in European Fishing Fleet Capacity:Number of vessels, 2003

Note: Assessment in 2002 for EU 15, EFTA; 2001 for ES, CY, MT, LT LV,PL, and SL

Data source:

DG Fisheries, EUROSTAT, FAO

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Power and tonnage are the main factors that determine the capacity of a fleet and thus approximate to the pressure on the fish stocks. Excess power is considered to be one of the major factors that lead to over-fishing.

 

Currently, the total power of the fishing fleet amounts to 7 122 145 kW in the EU-15 (2003) and 2 503 580 kW in EFTA (2002). Data for Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania are not available. Over the past 15 years the EU fleet capacity in terms of power has been gradually decreasing, but the power of the EFTA fleet increased at a considerable rate of almost 13% over the period 1997-2002. Norway, Italy, Spain, France and the UK retain the largest power in their fleets, which accounted for almost 70% of the total fleet in 2003.

 

The fishing fleet tonnage (GRT) in 2003 consisted of 1 922 912 tonnes in the EU-15 and 579 097 tonnes in the EFTA countries. The last recorded census for Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland and Slovenia in 1995 reported 543 631 tonnes. In the period 1989-2003, the EU fleet was gradually reduced in tonnage by approximately 10%; at the same time the EFTA fleet experienced an almost 30% increase (Fig. 4). The fleets of Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland and Slovenia faced a dramatic decrease of 50%, and those of Bulgaria and Romania 70%, due to the restructuring of the economies of the former Eastern Block countries; there are no data available on fleet tonnage in these countries before 1995. Currently, Spain, Norway, the UK, France, Italy and the Netherlands retain the fleets of largest tonnage, accounting for almost 70% of the total fleet in 2003.

 

In 2002 there were 90 595 fishing vessels in the EU-15 and 12 589 in the EFTA countries. According to DG Fisheries, the fleets of Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland and Slovenia amounted to approximately 6 200 vessels in 2001. Both EU and EFTA fleets have been gradually reduced in size over the past 15 years, whereas the fleet of Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland and Slovenia has  increased gradually over the past 10 years (Fig. 2). It is noteworthy that the peak value observed in 1994 was due to the introduction of new countries, namely Finland and Sweden, into the registry. Greece, Italy, Spain, Norway and Portugal retain the largest number of vessels, accounting for almost 70% of the total fleet in 2003.  In the case of Greece and Portugal, a comparison of the number of vessels with the  fleet capacity indicates that these two fleets consist mainly of small vessels.

 

Despite the overall drop in size and capacity (power and tonnage) experienced by the EU fleet in the past 15 years, no visible improvement in the condition of the fish stocks has been observed. According to DG Fisheries 'One of the most fundamental and enduring problems of the Common Fisheries Policy has been the chronic overcapacity of the EU fleet. Conservation measures have persistently been undermined by fishing activities at levels well beyond the level of pressure that the available fish stocks could safely withstand. As new technology makes fishing vessels ever more efficient, the capacity of the fleet should be reduced to maintain a balance between fishing capacity and the quantities of fish that can safely be taken out of the sea by fishing'. The Multi-Annual Guidance Plans (MAGPs) have proved inadequate and  have been replaced by a simpler scheme in the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (January 2003).

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Constança De Carvalho Belchior

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year in July-September (Q3)
Filed under: ,

Comments

European Environment Agency (EEA)
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Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100