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Friday, 02 March 2007

Debate on rights-based management in fisheries

The Commission tabled a Communication on rights-based management tools in fisheries aimed at launching a debate on fishing management systems. The Commission wants to improve the understanding of how fishing rights such as licences, individual fishing quotas, days at sea and/or limited access to fishing grounds are set up and used within the EU and to discuss best practices. Rights-based management includes any system of allocating individual fishing rights to fishermen, fishing vessels, enterprises, cooperatives or fishing communities. Such systems, which exist in all fisheries management regimes in one form or another basically define the rights to use fisheries resources. Fishing rights have a value and can be traded. The trade in fishing rights was first addressed in the context of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, when the Commission committed itself to producing a report on the scope for provisions within EU and/or national fisheries management systems for a system of tradable fishing rights, which can be individual or collective. Markets in fishing rights exist in most Member States.