Controversial TACs proposed for 2015

29 Oct 2014
Pew has condemned the proposal to allow continued overfishing of a number of other stocks including cod, for which scientists recommend a zero TAC

Pew has condemned the proposal to allow continued overfishing of a number of other stocks including cod, for which scientists recommend a zero TAC

The European Commission proposed fishing limits for 2015 have received a mixed response by some who say that many exceed safe limits specified by scientific advice.

Total allowable catches, or TACs, are the levels set for fish allowed to be caught by EU vessels in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent waters, including the west of Scotland and Ireland and the Irish, Celtic and North Seas.

Uta Bellion, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ European marine programme, said: “While the Commission is moving in the right direction, Pew is concerned that in a number of cases it has proposed fishing limits that exceed the scientific advice. We call on EU fisheries ministers to match the ambition they demonstrated in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and set limits which will end overfishing in 2015.”

Pew has welcomed the fact that for Europe’s north-western waters, the Commission proposes 19 limits that follow scientific advice, including herring in waters west of Scotland and in the Irish Sea, and haddock and several plaice and sole stocks in the Celtic Sea.

But it has condemned the proposal for allowing what it calls the continued overfishing of a number of other stocks, including six which scientists recommend a zero TAC for. Several of these are in the Irish Sea, including a severely depleted cod and whiting stock.

It has also criticised the proposal to keep 2015 TAC at the same level as 2014 for 18 others, despite scientific advice to reduce the allowable catches.

TACs are set annually for most Atlantic stocks and should conform to the EU’s reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which entered into force in January 2014.

The Council of Fisheries Ministers, made up of the 28 EU member states ministers responsible for fisheries will meet to negotiate and agree on the 2015 TACS in December 2014.

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