EC proposes 2018 TACs

08 Nov 2017
Karmenu Vella

Karmenu Vella: "We must continue our joint efforts to manage our seas and oceans in a way that works for the environment, for the economy and for future generations"

The European Commission (EC) has suggested quotas for 78 stocks as part of its sustainable fishing proposal.

Ahead of the December Fisheries Council, where EU Member States will agree next year's fishing quotas in the Atlantic and North Sea, the EC proposed that for 53 stocks the fishing quota is either increased or remains the same and for 25 stocks it is reduced.

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “The perseverance of the fishermen and the responsible fisheries management decisions stand to prove that sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand.

“That being said now is not the time for complacency. We must continue our joint efforts to manage our seas and oceans in a way that works for the environment, for the economy and for future generations."

MSY levels

The proposal covers stocks managed by the EU alone and stocks managed in cooperation with third countries, such as Norway, or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs).

44 stocks are now fished at Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels, up from just five in 2009. The objective under the Common Fisheries Policy is to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels by 2020.

The proposal will be submitted for discussion and decision by the Member States at the December Fisheries Council, to be applied as from 1 January 2018.

Quota top-ups

Later this autumn, the Commission will propose additional quotas, the so-called 'quota top-ups', for fisheries that in 2018 fall under the landing obligation, which requires that all catches of regulated commercial species on-board are landed and counted against quota. The allowed quota is thereby increased to facilitate the transition to the new system of 'no discards'.

For cases where data are not sufficient to properly estimate the stock's size, the Commission proposal follows scientific advice from ICES, i.e. cuts or increases of a maximum of 20%.

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