EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, considers there has been some progress as to overfishing. (Photo: CE)
Improvements for some fish stocks: EC
Friday, June 08, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
In a consultation document, the European Commission (EC) 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 for the following year.
The document shows that in 2009 there were five fish stocks that were not overexploited and at present there are 20 fish stocks in European seas which are known not to be overfished. This situation is evidence that the Commission's efforts to phase out overfishing are starting to bear fruit.
Furthermore, reducing TACs in the past years even made it possible to increase some TACs for 2012, which could result in at least EUR 135 million extra income for the fishing industry.
According to the EC, the above figures show that following scientific advice when setting TACs helps fish stocks rebuild.
These figures also show that a reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is necessary in order to apply on a wider scale the methods that have proved to work in the long-term.
Apart from strengthening long-term management and adopting a fully science based approach, it is necessary to eliminate catastrophic practices such as discarding.
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."
In the EC document, it is highlighted that the stocks in EU waters in the northeast Atlantic that were assessed as not overfished are:
- Anglerfish: Off Portugal and Atlantic coast of Spain;
- Blue whiting: All areas;
- Common sole: Skagerrak, Kattegat and Baltic Sea, Western Channel, Celtic Sea;
- Haddock: North Sea, Rockall, West of Scotland;
- Herring: North Sea, Celtic Sea, Bothnian Sea;
- Horse mackerel: Western area, from Cantabrian Sea to northern North Sea;
- Megrims: Off Portugal and Atlantic coast of Spain;
- Norway Lobster: Skagerrak and Kattegat, North Sea (Fladen Ground), West of Scotland, Celtic Sea and Irish Sea;
- Plaice: North Sea;
- Cod: Eastern Baltic Sea;
- Spurdog: Northeast Atlantic.
The Commission's view is that for next year, the TACs should be based on scientific advice, with a goal to phase out overfishing by 2015.
- Fishing quota deal for 2012 continues
By Analia Murias
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member European Commission - Fisheries and Maritime Affairs