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Wednesday, 08 December 2004

2005 fish quotas

2005 fish quotas: Commission proposes more stability through the application of long-term strategies to rebuild stocks
Today, the European Commission tabled a proposal on fishing possibilities and attendant measures for 2005. The objective is to rebuild severely depleted stocks and protect those in sound biological state while maintaining, as far as possible, the economic activities of the fleets concerned. The proposal takes account of the latest scientific advice from the independent International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Commission’s own Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries (STECF), as well as input from stakeholders. The Commission facilitated greater involvement of stakeholders this year by consulting the industry and other interested Parties at an early stage. Essentially, the Commission proposes more stable total allowable catches (TACs), as called for by stakeholders, through the application of multi-annual recovery plans, in line with the long-term approach adopted under the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Thus, the Commission does not systematically follow scientific advice to the letter in terms of TACs, but it builds in additional measures that should deliver the long term sustainability of fish stocks. The biggest cuts in quotas and fishing effort relate to fragile deep-sea species. For depleted cod stocks, the Commission proposes further restrictions on fishing effort mostly through closed areas.