Two opposite principles are guiding the common commercial policy in Europe : the community preference and the security of
supply for the European market. During the market crisis of 2000-12 in France when the prices dropped down, fishermen asked
for more protection in order to reduce fish imports. This paper scrutinizes the impact of import protection on the European
imports of fishery products. A quantitative assessment is developed through an import function tested along with
econometrics of panel data. The results show a different impact of trade barriers on seafood imports according to the level
of processing : the protection is more effective for processed fish than for primary goods. However, whatever the
commodities, other price effects, such as the exchange rate effects, appeared to be far more influential than trade
barriers on import levels.