EC plans for 2016 quotas

02 Jun 2015
93% of the assessed stocks in the Mediterranean are not sustainably fished. Credit: Moonik/CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

93% of the assessed stocks in the Mediterranean are not sustainably fished. Credit: Moonik/CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The European Commission has opened the online public consultation on its views and intentions for setting the annual fishing quotas for 2016.

Member States, the fishing industry and non-governmental organisations in regional Advisory Councils, as well as interested citizens and organisations, are invited to submit their views online. The Commission will then table its proposals for fishing opportunities for 2016 in the Union waters of the Atlantic, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in the autumn.

Two different situations are highlighted in the status of the stocks report. The first is good news in the Northeast Atlantic area, the North Sea and the Baltic Seas, where more than 50% of fisheries (32 out of 62 MSY-assessed stocks) were at sustainable levels in 2014, compared to only 14 % in 2009. They include many of the commercially important stocks.

The second situation is that 93% of the assessed stocks in the Mediterranean are not sustainably fished. The situation is similar for stocks fished by fishermen from the EU only, and stocks shared with fishermen of third countries. The Black Sea is in a comparable situation, with 86% of the assessed stocks being overfished.

Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said, "The visible success in northern fisheries proves that sustainable fisheries management is possible. Together with the fishermen we now need to consolidate the positive results and achieve the goals of the new Common Fisheries Policy.

“Our efforts in the Mediterranean need to be stepped up. We need to develop Union management plans and more effective regional plans. But only when we address the situation in our Member States, will we gain the necessary credibility to start discussing with our partners in the Mediterranean.”

The Commission has confirmed its commitment to bring all fisheries as soon as possible to levels that correspond to maximum sustainable yields (MSY).

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