Deep-sea fishing opportunities proposed

09 Oct 2012
Black scabbard fish TACs are proposed to be either cut or unchanged. Credit: Kogo. License: GFDL

Black scabbard fish TACs are proposed to be either cut or unchanged. Credit: Kogo. License: GFDL

The European Commission has proposed its fishing opportunities for the deep-sea fish stocks in EU and international waters of the North-East Atlantic for 2013-2014.

The Commission says these proposals are in line with scientific advice.

The proposal is to increase TACs for three stocks, decrease TACs for 13 stocks, and maintain TACs at the current level for eight stocks (including zero TACs for six stocks), compared to 2012.

The proposed 2013 TAC for roundnose grenadier west of the British Isles is an increase of 77%, to 4,500 tonnes, which should bring this stock to sustainable levels by 2015.

The Commission also proposes to increase the TACS for two black scabbard fish stocks in western waters (West of Scotland/Ireland) by 20% and 5%. TACs for the remaining stocks of black scabbard fish and roundnose grenadier are proposed to be cut or maintained unchanged.

The Commission says it is taking the precautionary approach by proposing that the red seabream and blue ling TACs are cut by 20%, as the conservation status of these stocks is not fully assessed.

European Commissioner Maria Damanaki said: "To preserve the deep-sea fishery, we need to follow the scientific advice, and not overexploit these vulnerable species. Still, three of the stocks seem to be on the path towards recovery and MSY levels. We have a clear management objective: a long-term sustainable use of these stocks."

With only two exceptions, available data on the deep-sea stocks are insufficient to allow scientists to fully assess the stock status, neither in terms of number of fish nor fishing mortality. Nevertheless, the scientific advice has improved, notably on the stocks that offer the largest fishing opportunities.

To see an overview of the Commission's proposals for 2013 and 2014 please click here.

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