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Thursday, 13 June 2013

A consultation on Fishing Opportunities for 2014 - to be read by all in the industry

This document sets out the initial intentions of the European Commission concerning the fixing of total allowable catches (TACs) and effort levels in European waters and for European fishers in 2014. Member States and Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) are invited to provide their views to the Commission for consideration before a final decision is taken on the Commission's proposals.

The state of fish stocks in European Atlantic and nearby waters continues to improve. More stocks are exploited within their maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels. Knowledge about the state of stocks in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea is also improving. Overfishing should continue to be phased out. The main instruments to do this are adjustments in levels of fishing opportunities, with adaptations to the permitted structure of fishing gear to improve selectivity. Following the expected adoption of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, based on a proposal from the Commission1, it is anticipated that from 2014 obligations to land all fish caught will gradually come into force on a fishery-byfishery basis. This should also improve fish stock conservation. Ending overfishing will mean greatly reducing the risk of commercial fish collapses, improving the profitability of fishing fleets, lowering carbon emissions and fuel consumption and ensuring a more stable and reliable supply of fish to consumers. It also means reducing the impact on the marine environment and on vulnerable species such as dolphins and corals. These actions will contribute to achieving good environmental status by 2020 as provided for by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive2 .

Ending overfishing is also part of the solution to ending discards as more fish will have a chance to grow to a valuable size and it will be much easier for fishermen to take catches of good-sized fish without taking the smaller fish.

For the full paper click here.