EC will not automatically cut quotas

25 Oct 2011
The EC has decided not to automatically cut quotas by 25%. Credit: Wiki/Kurt Kulac

The EC has decided not to automatically cut quotas by 25%. Credit: Wiki/Kurt Kulac

The European Commission has decided not to automatically cut fishing quotas if there is not enough information about stock levels.

Plans for the quota to be cut by 25% for stocks without sufficient data have been abandoned, but will not revert to the previous years quota – they will be considered on a case-by-case basis, reports The Guardian.

This decision was made last week during the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg.

The UK had opposed plans for the 25% reduction because officials said they were not based on science.

UK fisheries minister, Richard Benyon, said "Just because the data on a stock doesn't give the full picture, that doesn't mean slashing the amount which you're allowed to catch by a quarter is the right response.

"The UK fully supports the Commission's ambitions to ensure that fish stocks are sustainable in the long term. But we can't support proposals which have no basis in science and could risk increasing discards from otherwise healthy stocks."

SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: "This is a triumph of common sense and we welcome this announcement from the Commissioner to abandon the automatic quota reductions for data deficient stocks. It was a blunt instrument that was totally unfair in its implementation and we are pleased that the Commissioner has recognised the universal chorus of disapproval for the scheme.

"It is unfortunate, however, that this statement of intent has come too late to change the current quota proposals on the table for 2012, which includes large cuts for data deficient stocks such as megrim and monkfish."

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