European Fisheries Subsidies

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August, 2013

The fishing industry in the European Union (EU) receives a significant amount of government subsidies, which have promoted the overcapacity of European fishing fleets, resulting in overfishing1, and rendering fisheries in many European countries unprofitable and a poor investment for taxpayers.

In 2011, Oceana released a study estimating the total expenditure in fishing sector subsidies from the EU to be €3.3 billion for 20092. This estimate was three times greater the amount typically quoted in public figures. In 13
countries, subsidies added up to an amount greater than the value of the fish catch.

This paper presents the results of a six months study into state aid, the hidden subsidies allocated by Member States to their fleets3. Oceana estimates these subsidies total to €4,9 billion, of which only 1% can be identified as beneficial to the marine environment.

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