The European Union's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), established in 1983 by Regulation (EEC) No 170/83, of 25 January, (revoked) defined a common fisheries policy.

One of the most important aspects of the CFP is the resource conservation policy which aims at the implementation of measures to prevent overexploitation of stocks and promote the sustainability of fishing activities in EU waters.

With the entry into force, on 1 January 2014, of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, of 11 December, a thorough reform of the CFP was completed.

In compliance with Article 15 of EU Regulation No 1380/2013, on 1 January 2015, the landing obligation for certain fisheries came into force, encouraging the increase of selectivity and contributing to obtain more reliable data on catches. In order for fishermen to adapt to this change, the unloading obligation was introduced progressively between 2015 and 2019.

As of 2019, the landing obligation applies in all Member States of the Union and involves all catches of species subject to TACs, or at minimum sizes, in the case of the Mediterranean. However, measures are in place to facilitate compliance with the landing obligation, whether they are flexibility provisions applicable by Member States in the context of quota management, or specific flexibility mechanisms that must be applied through multi-annual plans or, in their absence, so-called “discard plans”.

 In order to clarify doubts about the application of the landing obligation, the following documents can be consulted

Landing Obligation Manual Datasheet Landing Obligation
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Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1394/2014, 20 October 2014 - Plan for the landing obligation for pelagic fisheries in southern western waters (consolidated version) Pelagic Plan
Download (190 KB)

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2020/2015 of 21 August 2020 - specifying details of the implementation of the landing obligation for certain fisheries in Western Waters for the period 2021-2023 (applicable from 1st January 2021)

Demersal Plan
Download (666 KB)

Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2015/98 Commission of 18 November 2014 laying down derogations from the ICCAT and NAFO species discharge obligation

Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2015/98
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