About this Research Topic
The present proposal for a Research Topic in Frontiers in Marine Science aims at collecting a broad range of analyses on ecological, biological, social, economic and legislative issues and case studies related to the application of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
The reformation of the EU CFP (EC regulation 1380/2013) aims at implementing a community system for conservation of marine biological resources and for the management of fisheries exploitation in order to guarantee ecological, economic and social sustainability. Based on past experiences and failures, the CFP envisages the application of the precautionary principle and the progressive implementation of an ecosystem-based approach for fisheries management, through a series of activities that include adoption of conservation measures (art. 7), delineation of multiannual plans (art 8), reduction of unwanted catches through landing obligation (art. 15), regionalization of the CFP (art 18), transferable fishing concessions (art 21), promote sustainable aquaculture (art. 34). Overall, the CFP should ensure that, by 2020 at the latest, fishing mortality rates are set to levels which will rebuild or maintain stocks above biomass levels that could produce the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) also on the basis of best scientific advice, data collection and financial supports.
Application of the CFP in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, however, faces several challenges due to large ecological, economic, political and institutional differences across the basin. For instance, the challenge of CFP application is exacerbated by the legal/administrative situation, with large areas outside national/EU jurisdictions and fleet capacities highly different on opposite shores of some sub-basins. Moreover, many exploited stocks are in poor state, while for many others the knowledge is still limited. Different history of fishing and development, as well as monitoring and data availability, result in situations that hamper sustainable management. Actually, no quotas or TACs (total allowable catch) have been established in the area due to the multi-species nature of the fisheries that are regulated by control of the fleet capacity as proxy of fishing effort. Furthermore, the widespread small scale fisheries, difficult to control and manage, and the unquantified recreational fisheries are often arguments for high uncertainty on assessments.
The intent of the Research Topic is thus to collate analyses related to the application of the principles included in the CFP in Mediterranean and Black Sea, including assessments of current status, scenario analyses, visions of best solutions, evaluation of critical hot spots and effects of regionalization of fisheries management. Theoretical studies and working applied examples, as well as critical situations and success stories, are welcome. Contributions are expected from all different actions envisaged by CFP (e.g. landing obligation, regionalization, etc), and covering different dimensions (biological, technical, ecological, economic, social and institutional arrangements, including legislative and regulation topics). The Research Topic aims at tackling from local to transboundary issues and solutions and is expected to provide broad vision of problems together with important practical solutions for CFP application in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
Keywords: Common fisheries policy, fisheries management, sustainable exploitation, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.