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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Ministers re-discuss fishing opportunities for 2013

At the last Council meeting on Agriculture, ministers were briefed and held an exchange of views on a Commission communication concerning a consultation on fishing opportunities for 2013. Most of the member states acknowledged the global improvement of the state of the fish resource. Concerning data-poor stocks, many delegation said they would prefer a case by case approach based on the existing total allowable catches (TACs).
During the discussion on fishing opportunities, several delegations referred to the agreement reached in June this year under the Danish Presidency to achieve maximum sustainable yields (MSY) by 2015 where possible (e.g when scientific advice on the stocks was available in the necessary detail) and by 2020 at the latest.
Several delegations mentioned the need to review the fishing effort for cod in order to adapt it to the actual situation of this stock. In general setting pluriannual plans was also considered essential by a majority of member states.
Many delegations regretted the continuation of last year's practice of presenting two proposals for 2013 fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks for EU vessels: one on internal stocks and another on shared and international stocks.
In its presentation, the Commission said that fish stocks were generally in a better state than last year, with the increasing number of stocks at MSY level. The Commission also highlighted the improved scientific information on fish stocks that was available: the number of data-poor stocks for which no quantitative advice was available had been greatly reduced since last year.

Source: Council of the EU