The Entry/Exit scheme aims to align the capacity of the EU fishing fleet with available fishing resources. In particular, this means that the capacity of any vessel entering the fishery is balanced by the prior withdrawal of a vessel or vessels with the equivalent capacity.
Moreover, Member States may not increase their fleets above capacity ceilings specified in the relevant EU legislation. The Entry/Exit scheme contributes to the overall objective of the common fisheries policy to ensure that fishing is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable and that it provides a source of healthy food for EU citizens.
The Commission has carried out an evaluation of the implementation of the Entry/Exit scheme and found that:
- the Entry/Exit scheme is fit for purpose as an instrument to prevent fishing capacity from increasing, in particular in contexts where conservation and management measures are not effective enough to regulate the use of fishing capacity through enforceable input (such as licences) and output measures (such as quotas).
- the Entry/Exit scheme remains of relevance in all ecoregions given the fact that overall in the EU waters the capacity of a significant number of fleet segments (190 out of the 255 segments assessed) is too high in comparison to their fishing opportunities.
- Member States respect the fundamental rules and capacity ceilings set out in the annex II to the regulation on the common fiheries policy. However, the national implementation rules have led to a perceived lack of flexibility to increase capacity in order to improve safety or working conditions.
- Finally, the evaluation underlines that the effectiveness of the Entry/Exit scheme risks to be undermined by the fact that Member State authorities in general do not generate reliable engine power figures for registration and certification purposes, as evidenced by a recent study carried out for the Commission.
Staff working document (in English)
- Publication date
- 26 July 2019
- Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries