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The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) underwent two major reviews in both 1992 and 2002. The next official review will be held in 2012. The 2002 review was more comprehensive than legally required and a number of substantive changes were made to Regulation 3760/92 to address concerns in 2002. This resulted in the writing of Regulation 2371/2002 which incorporates more progressive elements including the requirements to adopt the precautionary and the ecosystem approach in an attempt to modernise the CFP and respond to demands for a more environmentally focused fisheries policy. A detailed comparison of these two regulations can be found in Section 3.1.
Since 2002, the Commission has proposed and adopted a number of implementing regulations in order to meet the objectives of the reformed CFP. These include recovery plans, emergency measures and revised technical measures for the Baltic and the North East Atlantic. Regulations relating to the adjustment of fishing capacity have also been added as well as recent new proposals to improve the EU control regime. The Commission has also established the Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA), situated in Vigo, and adopted the framework regulation for the establishment of the regional advisory councils (RACs). These regulations are listed in Annex 2.
While the environmental principles identified in 2002 have been considered and even integrated into a number of implementing regulations, further action is required, both at Commission and Member State level, to ensure that the CFP Regulation achieves its objectives. This report outlines what action is required. Firstly, the report demonstrates that although the Commission has adopted more regulations concerning conservation and sustainability there are fewer regulations pertaining to the adjustment of fishing capacity and among these, the majority relate to the management of fleet rather than capacity. Secondly, while the report also acknowledges that there has been some progress on strengthening the control and enforcement regime, the recent proposals by the Commission in 2007 have largely been in response to the Court of Auditors report of December 2007. Finally, although the input of stakeholders into EC decision-making has increased following the establishment of the RACs, it is still restricted to responding to EU proposals while their consideration of environmental issues remains a low priority despite the active involvement of some NGOs.