On 1 January 2014, 86,879 vessels were registered in the EU fleet register, with an overall capacity of 1,658,033 gross tonnage (GT) and 6,573,806 KW.
Compared to 2012, this represents a reduction of 7.8 per cent in the number of vessels, and a reduction of 1.6 per cent in GT and 5.4 per cent in KW (excluding vessels registered in Croatia and in the outermost regions).
A breakdown of the fleet situation by Member State shows that six Member States have identified fleet segments with structural overcapacity: Cyprus, Croatia, France, Italy, Latvia, and Spain.
In response, and in line with new requirements under the EU's reformed Common Fisheries Policy, they have developed action plans setting out measures and a timeline to address the imbalance and eliminate the identified structural overcapacity. Measures include decommissioning of vessels with public aid as well as more market-oriented mechanisms.
The action plans are a precondition for EU funding for Member States under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. It is the first time that Member States present such plans.
Excessive fishing power is a major driver for overfishing. The recent reform of the CFP obliges Member States to adjust the fishing capacity of their fleets to their fishing opportunities over time.