Updated: 03/10/2022

Chapter 13: Fisheries


Because of the distinctive nature of fisheries sector, common rules are introduced at EU level in order to enable economically, socially and environmentally sustainable fisheries activities and to provide healthy food with reasonable prices to the EU consumers. The main aims of the common rules which also known as Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) are to create a dynamic fisheries sector and to ensure a fair standard of living for fishing communities. At Union level, the CFP was first introduced as an independent policy in 1983 even though some rules regarding fisheries was determined under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) at the time. CFP rules periodically undergone reform process in the light of current developments and sectoral needs. The last CFP reform process, following 1992 and 2002 reforms, was concluded with the entry into force of the new rules on fisheries on 1 January 2014.

EU Common Fisheries Policy consists of four main policy areas: Conservation and Control Policy (Fisheries management), Structural Policy, Marketing Policy and International Policy.

Under the context of Conservation and Control Policy, the main aim of the content is to ensure the sustainable use of fish stocks and fair distribution of those stocks among member states. In this regard, all EU fishing vessels have the right of equal access to the EU waters except territorial waters of the Member States and the waters up to 100 nautical miles from the coasts of Europe’s outermost regions.

One of the main measures taken in order to ensure a sustainable fisheries sector under the CFP is to create a balance between the fish catching activities and reproduction of fish stocks. In line with this purpose, a maximum sustainable yield (MSY) which clarifies the maximum fishing level for a fish stock without harming the stock is determined under the light of scientific methods.

Fishing quotas, also known as total allowable catches (TACs) which is calculated taking into account scientifically-based maximum sustainable yield rates, are allocated to the Member States for fishing activities for each stock. Member States are fully responsible for the distribution of quotas to vessels and preventing possible excessive fishing activities.

Another important measure taken by the EU for a sustainable fisheries sector is to limit fishing capacity and vessel usage. In this context, limits may be introduced on fishing time of fleets, engine power of vessels, reducing fleet capacity and fishing gears. Landing obligation is also a substantial tool for the conservation of marine resources.

All fishing activities in the EU is subject to an effective monitoring, control and inspection mechanism.

Under the structural policy pillar of the CFP, fisheries sector is supported under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) in order to create a more competitive, environmentally sustainable fisheries sector and provide a better life for the fishing communities in line with the priority axes defined by the EU.

With regard to the marketing policy framework of the CFP, common rules are implemented such as marketing standards for fishery and aquaculture products, market measures and recognition of fisheries producer organizations. Within this framework, producer organizations play a significant role particularly on fisheries management.

As for the international dimension of the CFP, EU has an important contribution to the fight against the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities. To this end, EU cooperates with the other coastal states and sign agreements on managing fisheries and plays an active role in the efforts of the international organizations with the aim of supporting the sustainable development.

Moreover, the EU is a signatory party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and terms of the convention is accepted as a part of the EU acquis.



The acquis in this chapter provides rules for the conservation of living aquatic resources and management of the fleet capacity; control and enforcement; structural actions for operators in the sector and thus the management of EU Fisheries Fund; implementation of common marketing standards and common organisation of the market in fisheries and involvement of producer organisations in enforcement of these rules. As it is very important in identification of these rules, special emphasis is given to assessment of existing fish stocks and collection reliable data on fisheries sector. The acquis consists of regulations, which do not require transposition into national legislation. Therefore, it requires the introduction of measures and mechanisms to prepare the administration and the operators for participation in the common fisheries policy and to gain experience in implementation before accession. It should be underlined that the recent CFP legislative amendments impose detailed and strict rules that have to be effectively enforced not only by member states but also by the third countries exporting to EU.



Sub-Committee No.1 on Agriculture and Fisheries is one of the sub-committees established based on the Decision 3/2000 of TR-EC Association Council on 11 April 2000. Within the framework of Accession Partnership Document and National Programme Priorities, harmonization of national legislation with the EU acquis, the progress achieved in the fulfilment of opening and closing benchmarks, planned activities in the coming period regarding Chapters 11, 12 and 13 are discussed in the Sub-Committee meetings. Directorate for EU Affairs is responsible for the coordination of all studies carried out in the scope of the Sub-Committee and cooperation between the relevant institutions.

So far, 15 Sub-Committee meetings were held, and the last meeting was held online on 19-21 October 2021.



More information about EU Common Fisheries Policy:


More information about the regulation framework of the Common Fisheries Policy:


Relevant departments in the EU Commission:

  • Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries


  • Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE)

Click for the website



The explanatory meeting of Chapter 13 was held on 21 February 2006 and the Country Session took place on 31 March 2007. Part of screening report which based on data was sent to Türkiye by the Commission. Turkish contribution for the report prepared under the coordination of what was then Secretariat General for EU Affairs was sent to the Commission on 12 December 2007. Consultations on screening report is still ongoing in the Council. The Council decision dated 11 December 2006 on non-discriminatory application of Additional Protocol to Ankara Agreement to all Member States is a pre-condition for opening Chapter 13 to negotiations.



Although Türkiye has not been informed about the opening benchmarks and the Chapter has not been opened to negotiations yet, studies for development of institutional capacity and alignment with the EU acquis have been carried out under the leadership of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.




Programming Year


Project Name


Beneficiary Institution


Status of Project



Fisheries Sector - Legal and Institutional Alignment to the Acquis


Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry





Introduction of Stock Assessment to the Fisheries Management System of Türkiye


Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry





Institutional Capacity Building for Fishery Producer Organisations


Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry





Reinforcement of the Turkish Fisheries Management System


Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry





Capacity Building for Fisheries Producer Organisations and Provincial Agricultural Directorates in line with Common Market Organisation (CMO) of Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)


Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry





Projects which have been implementing under IPA II (2014-2020) Programme:

Programming Year


Project Name


Beneficiary Institution


Status of Project



Implementation of Stock Assessments in Fisheries Activities


Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry











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