Since 2008, the European Commission (EC) publishes an annual communication on fishing opportunities. The communication provides an overview of the state of the resource and outlines the rules and principles the European Commission intends to follow for proposing Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and fishing effort limitations for the following year.
In 2014 the EC's Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) launched a public consultation based on the communication via the DG MARE website. The objective of the consultation was to "allow all European citizens to express an opinion on the way in which levels of fishing effort and fishing quotas are set according to the new Common Fisheries Policy and in relation to scientific advice about sustainable fishing". The project analyses stakeholder submissions to the public consultation following a three step approach.
As a first step, development of an evaluation template covering:
- Affiliation of body making the submission;
- Position on implementation of the MSY objective; and
- Position on implementation of the precautionary approach.
The second step reviews the submissions based on the evaluation template.The third step analyses submissions quantitatively, including establishing correlations between contributors’ affiliation and positions.