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Friday, 08 June 2012

Fishing opportunities for 2013

In a consultation document recently adopted, the European Commission sets out its intentions for fixing fishing opportunities for 2013. Through this annual document the Commission asks for the views of Member States and stakeholders on the setting of Total Allowable Catches (TACs), quotas and fishing effort (days-at-sea) for the following year. The document shows that the Commission's efforts to phase out overfishing are starting to bear fruit. There are now 20 fish stocks in European seas which are known not to be overfished, compared to only 5 stocks in 2009. Reducing TACs in the past years even made it possible to increase some TACs for 2012. This could result in at least €135 million extra income for the fishing industry.
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki has stated: "We are now seeing some improvements towards ending overfishing, but we need to go the extra mile and adopt the CFP reform if we want to guarantee these improvements in the long term."
The Commission's view is that for next year, for stocks covered by the long-term management plans, TACs and effort levels should be fixed according to the plans in force (a legal requirement). For other fish stocks, not covered by the plans, the TACs should be based on scientific advice, with a goal to phase out overfishing by 2015 - or earlier, wherever possible. Where no advice exists, the precautionary principle should be applied.

Source: European Commission