Small-scale fisheries are well represented into local and regional institutions in charge of fisheries regulation for taxation, but the are much less so at the national and European levels. This can be understood due to the local scale of their activity, but also by the fact they are poorly known by the higher decision-making levels. Yet it is estimated that they generate as much employment as large-scale fisheries, not to mention the many indirect jobs which cannot easily be distinguished from the industrial sector. If they are defined by vessel smaller than 12 m, they include 70,000 boats, which accounts to 84% of the EU's fishing fleet and provide about 100,000 direct jobs.
Failure to participate in decision-making at EU-level has a lot to do with access and representation in formal, national and/or regional organisations. The survival of coastal fisheries has been impacted by the unintended consequences of the management measures which where created to target large-scale fishery. The challenge is how to maintain flexibility and activities for coastal fisheries. A more holistic approach to integrate social aspects of social and cultural contributions of coastal fisheries.