Seafish compares TACs with ICES advice

Two-thirds of 2012 TACs closely follow ICES advice. Credit: Seafish Two-thirds of 2012 TACs closely follow ICES advice. Credit: Seafish

Seafish has published a document comparing the TACs for 2012 agreed by the European Commission with the scientific recommendations made by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

In December the EU Council reached agreement on fishing opportunities for 2012 for EU vessels in Union and certain non-Union waters. The document shows TACs for 2012 for the principal stocks, compared with 2011 TACs and the initial Commission proposals for 2012, as set out in September 2011, but does not show the comparison with ICES recommendations.

Phil MacMullen, Head of Environmental Responsibility at Seafish said, “We are aware that various comments have been made about whether the EU has followed ICES advice when agreeing these TACs. The Seafish table shows 97 stocks with the agreed TAC, and we’ve colour-coded them relative to ICES advice.

“Our analysis shows 54 stocks as green – either below or complying exactly with ICES advice; nine stocks yellow – within 10% of ICES advice; six red – more than 10% above ICES advice; and 28 stocks with no colour as we don’t have all the information. We have also included an explanation where the agreed TAC does not appear to follow ICES advice.

“On this basis we can say that around 2/3 of TACs follow scientific advice pretty closely. There has been a strong trend over the last few years towards greater compliance, with more TACs being in line with the scientific advice or with less discrepancy from the advice. The processes that lead to TACs being decided seem to be working much better and, when this is combined with the moves to long term and ecosystem-based management, it augers well for the future.”

The summary can be found here.

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