The fishing industry in Romania makes only a marginal contribution to GDP and has seen recent periods of decline. In the early part of this century, distant water deep-sea fishing stopped due to increasing production costs; today, over half Romania’s domestic fish supplies come from aquaculture and most of the rest from inland capture fisheries.
Black Sea fishing is seasonal from March to October, but fisheries have been seriously damaged due to overfishing and the introduction of alien species. The number of valuable species is small (sturgeon, turbot, shark, garfish, mackerel, grey mullet and blue fish) and the stocks are in a critical condition. Along the Romanian coast there are approximately 20 species that are endangered, vulnerable or threatened by extinction. Black Sea dolphins are also threatened due to a combination of pollution and being caught in illegal fishing nets.
Since acceding to the EU in 2007, Romania is now subject to the Common Fisheries Policy (which is currently under review) and is part of the EU’s integrated maritime policy, and is developing a strategy for maritime security, planning and management, which includes fighting illegal activities on the Black Sea. The fisheries sector in Romania will receive €200 million in support from the EU between 2007 and 2013. The aims of the EU investment programme are: to ensure the sustainability of the fisheries sector; develop the market for fisheries products; support the sustainable development of fisheries areas and improve the quality of life in those areas; and support the proper delivery of the Operational Programme in the framework of the Common Fisheries Policy.