Commission proposes 2017 quotas

31 Oct 2016
The EC's proposal for quotas in 2017 have been issued

The EC's proposal for quotas in 2017 have been issued

The European Commission has presented its proposal for 2017 fishing quotas in preparation for the December Fisheries Council, where Member States will negotiate Total Allowable Catches (TAC) in the Atlantic and North Sea.

On the basis of the scientific advice received, the Commission said it proposes to maintain or increase the current fishing quotas for 42 stocks which are in good health and reduce catches for 28 stocks which are struggling.

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "We are proposing an ambitious programme for 2017 and the only way forward will be to work with fishermen, scientists and national authorities to develop real solutions that lead to fisheries that are both economically profitable and sustainable.”

The Commission proposes to increase quotas for anglerfish in southern waters, common sole in the Skagerrak/Kattegat and sole in the Western Channel. Increases are also proposed for Norway lobster in the Kattegat/Skagerrak, horse mackerel in Atlantic Iberian waters and haddock in the Irish Sea and Celtic Sea.

It said that the continued growth of the Northern hake stock also justifies a new substantial increase in the TAC.

At the same time, it proposes to reduce some stocks will are still giving reason for concern – including declining cod stocks in the West of Ireland, in the Celtic Sea, in the Bay of Biscay and in Atlantic Iberian waters. It said that sole in the Irish Sea is very vulnerable. The advice for whiting in the West of Scotland is for zero catches and decreases are proposed for megrims and pollack in the Celtic and Irish seas. In the Kattegat a reduction for plaice is also proposed.

The Commission has also included in its proposal actions for managing the decline in sea bass in 2017. It said that new management measures will allow some fishing possibilities to the small-scale fishermen that depend on this stock, but take into account ICES advice to cut overall landings.

Later this autumn the Commission will also propose some additional quotas, the so-called 'quota topups', for the fisheries that fall under the landing obligation in 2017. The exact top-ups per fishery will be determined on the basis of scientific advice expected in mid-November and of the quantities that need to be landed according to the regional discard plans.

The Commissions’ proposal will be submitted for discussion and adoption by the Ministers of the Member States at the Fisheries Council in December to be applied from 1 January 2017.

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