The current fishing management system depends on subsidies. In general, the fishing sector is not profitable in and of itself and requires continuous injections of public funds. Oddly enough, large companies and industrial ship owners move millions of euros generated by the fishing sector, which is also the sector that generates less employment.
According to the World Bank and FAO (“The Sunken Billion", 2008), marine fishing loses US$50,000 million each year around the world, a figure that could turn into benefits if correct management measures were applied. Along the same lines, a scientific publication headed by Dr. Rainer Froes (“Rebuilding ﬁsh stocks no later than 2015: will Europe meet the deadline?”, 2010) points out that catches could increase up to 80% if management were sustainable. In European waters, almost 90% of stocks evaluated are overfished, a fact that increases public spending in the shape of subsidies.
There are a number of instruments used to subsidize fishing activities, including the European Fishing Funds, de minimis aid at the European level or subsidies provided by Member States. These funds are to be used for decommissioning, remodelling, fuel, biological stops, seasonal compensations, closed fisheries, adaptations to changes in legislation, etc., and invalidate the maintenance of the sector in and of itself.