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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Invitation to the public to discuss EU fisheries management

European citizens, companies and other interested parties are invited to give their opinions and comments on the Commission's plan for improving the current system of allocating fishing quotas and "total allowable catches" – the tools designed to manage fish stocks and at the same time ensure the livelihoods of fishermen – for the year 2012. The primary aim of this plan for 2012 is to accelerate the phasing out of overfishing in European waters. Overfishing is mainly the result of fleets that are too large fishing for stocks that are too small. The current fisheries management system has helped to reduce the proportion of overfished stocks in the Atlantic from 94 % to 63 %, but the problem persists in the Mediterranean, where 82 % of known stocks are still being overfished. Overfishing is harmful not only for fish species, but also for fishing companies, because it means that often too much expensive fuel and effort is being used for nothing. It is therefore proposed that the methods used to link the allocation of quotas to scientific advice should be simplified, and that allowable catches should be reduced by 25 % where there is no scientific advice on a particular stock.

Source: Council of Ministers