Summary: The European Union's policy on fisheries agreements is being conducted against a background of the full exploitation or even overexploitation of the potential of many of the world's renewable marine resources. Nearly 16% of the stocks for which information is available are acknowledged to be dangerously over-fished (FAO 1997). World production, estimated at 17 million tonnes in 1950, was more than 87 million tonnes in 1996. However, over the last ten years growth has slowed down considerably,. This would seem to suggest that stock potential will shortly be fully exploited and as a result, the opportunities for developing fisheries.
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