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Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019

Brussels, 7 November 2018
Today the Commission presents its proposal ahead of the December Fisheries Council where Member States should agree next year's fishing quotas.
The European Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and the North Sea for 89 stocks: for 62 stocks the fishing quota is either increased or remains the same, for 22 stocks is reduced and for 5 the Commission proposes new by-catch quotas at low level to reduce the fishing pressure.The fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches (TACs), are quotas set for most commercial fish stocks that keep the stocks healthy, while allowing the fishing industry to profit from fishing the highest amount of fish. As the size of some key fish stocks is increasing – notably for Norway lobster in Skagerrak/Kattegat, Northern hake and Southern horse mackerel – so is the profitability of the fishing sector, with an estimated EUR 1.4 billion profit for 2018.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "Next year will be a milestone year for European fisheries. Our collective duty is to ensure a good transition to the full landing obligation as of 1st January 2019 while continuing our progress to achieve sustainable fishing by 2020. With this proposal, the Commission puts forward concrete solutions to advance on both fronts."
In order to put an end to the wasteful practice of discarding fish, as of 1st January 2019, the landing obligation will apply fully to all EU fishing fleets. This means that all catches of regulated commercial species taken on-board (including by-catch) are to be landed and counted against each Member States' respective quotas. In today's proposal the Commission has already deducted the amounts corresponding to the agreed exemptions to the landing obligation from the advised catches.
Substantial progress can be observed in the EU with regards to sustainable fishing: 53 stocks are now fishedat Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels compared to only 5 in 2009 and 44 in 2017. This means that the fishing pressure on the stock is limited to a level that will allow a healthy future for the fish stock's biomass, while taking into account socioeconomic factors. The Commission is working with Member States to support the fishermen in reaching the objective of having all stocks fished at sustainable levels by 2020, as set by the Common Fisheries Policy.
Today's proposal will be submitted for discussion and decision by the Member States at the December Fisheries Council on 17-18 December in Brussels, to be applied as of 1 January 2019.
Details of the proposal
The Commission bases its proposal on scientific advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), with a view to achieving sustainable management of fish stocks while sustaining profitable livelihoods for fishermen.
The proposal covers stocks managed by the EU alone and stocks managed in cooperation with third countries, such as Norway, or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). International negotiations for many of the stocks concerned are still ongoing and some further stocks are awaiting scientific advice. For these, the figures will be included at a later stage.
  • Proposed increases: For 27 stocks such as Norway lobster and plaice in Skagerrak/Kattegat, the Northern hake stock, Western and Southern horse mackerelcod, sole and plaice in the Irish Sea, and sole and megrim in the Bay of Biscay, the Commission proposes to increase the Total Allowable Catch.
  • Proposed stocks to be fished at 2018 levels: 35 stocks are kept at the same level as last year.
  • Proposed decreases: Decreases are proposed for 22 stocks, of which 12 see a decrease of less than 20%.For 5 of the stocks, namely cod in the West of Scotland and cod in the Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay/Iberian Waters, whiting in the West of Scotland and in the Irish Sea, and plaice in the southern Celtic Sea and southwest of Ireland, scientists have advised setting a zero quota (Total Allowable Catch) in 2019. The Commission is thus proposing to no longer allow targeting these stocks.
  • Proposed new by-catch levels: For 5 stocks captured incidentally, a by-catch quota is proposed at low level to reduce the fishing pressure, subject to a number of conditions, including full catch documentation (see table 4). These stocks are caught in mixed whitefish fisheries.
  • For northern seabass: the Commission is proposing a set of measures, expressed in catch limits (not TACs), following the latest scientific advice. Those measures would allow higher catches for hooks and lines fishery with 7 tonnes/vessel (compared to 5 tonnes/vessel in 2018) and a "bag limit" for recreational fisheries of 1 fish/day for 7 months, increasing from only three months in 2018.
For more information
See tables below for details on today's proposals for the Atlantic and the North Sea.
Questions and Answers on Commission's proposal on fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019.
Scientific advice: the proposed TACs take due account of the scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF).
Stakeholders were also consulted, based on the Commission's Consultation document.
Note: The tables below only list EU stocks not shared with third countries. All TAC values are expressed in tonnes.
Final TAC figures for 2018 reflect the total TAC set by the EU for a certain stock, after transfers to third countries where applicable.
Table 1: Stocks with proposals for increased Total Allowable Catch (TAC) 
Common name
Scientific name
TAC Unit
Final TAC in 2018
TAC 2019 (Proposal)
TAC change: 2018 - 2019 (Proposal)
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
8c, 9, 10, CECAF 34.1.1
3 955
4 023
+2%
Blue ling
Molva dypterygia
Union and int. waters 5b, 6, 7
10 463
11 778
+13%
Boarfish
Caproidae
6, 7, 8
20 380
21 830
+7 %
Cod
Gadus morhua
7a
695
807
+16%
Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
6b, 12 and 14
5 163
10 469
+103%
Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
7a
3 207
3 739

+17%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
3a
3 136

4 286

+37%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
2a and 4
3 653
4 994
+37%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
5b, 6, 7, 12 and 14
62 536
79 762
+28%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
8abde
42 460

52 118
+23%
Horse mackerel
Trachurus
2a, 4a; 6, 7a-c,7e-k, 8a, 8b, 8d and 8e 5b; international waters of 12 and 14
99 470

119 118

+20%
Horse mackerel
Trachurus
8c
16 000
18 858
+18%
Horse mackerel
Trachurus
9
55 555

94 017

+69%
Lemon sole and witch
Microstomus kitt & Glyptocephalus cynoglossus
Union waters of 2a, 4
6 391
7 874
+23%
Megrim
Lepidorhombus
Union waters of the North Sea
2 526
2 887
+14%
Megrim
Lepidorhombus
7
12 310
18 132
+47%
Megrim
Lepidorhombus
8abde
1 218
1 704
+40%
Megrim
Lepidorhombus
8c, 9, 10, Union waters of CECAF 34.1.1
1 387
1 872
+35%
Norway lobster
Nephrops
3a
11 738
19 424
+65%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
3aS (Kattegat)
1 483
2 941
+98%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
7a
1 793
3 075
+72%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
7fg
511
1 608
+215%
Sole
Solea
3a
448
502
+12%
Sole
Solea
7a
40 t
414
+935%
Sole
Solea
7e
1 202
1 242
+3%
Sole
Solea
8ab
3 621
3 823
+6%
Turbot & brill
Psetta maxima & Scophthalmus rhombus
2a and 4
7 102
8 122
+14%
Table 2: Stocks with no changes in Total Allowable Catch (TAC) 
Common name
Scientific name
TAC Unit
Final TAC in 2018
TAC 2019 (Proposal)
TAC change: 2018 - 2019 (Proposal)
Blue ling
Molva dypterygia
2a, 4
53
53
0%
Blue ling
Molva dypterygia
3a
8
8
0%
Cod
Gadus morhua
6b Rockall
74
74
0%
Greater silver smelt
Argentina silus
1, 2
90
90
0%
Greater silver smelt
Argentina silus
3a, 4
1 234
1 234
0%
Greater silver smelt
Argentina silus
Union and int. waters of 5, 6, 7
4 661
4 661
0%
Greenland halibut
Reinhardtius hippoglossoides
Union waters of 2a and 4; Union and international waters of 5b and 6
2 500
2 500
0%
Herring
Clupea harengus
6a (S), 7b, 7c
1 630
1 630
0%
Herring
Clupea harengus
Union and int. waters of 5b, 6b, 6a (N)
4 170
4 170
0%
Herring
Clupea harengus
7ef
930
930
0%
Horse mackerel
Trachurus
4b, 4c, 7d
15 179
15 179
0%
Ling
Molva molva
Union and int. waters of 1 and 2
36
36
0%
Ling
Molva molva
3a
87
87
0%
Ling
Molva molva
Union and int. waters of 5
33
33
0%
Ling
Molva molva
Union and int. waters of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14
20 396

20 396

0%
Norway lobster
Nephrops
8c
2
2
0%
Picked dogfish
Squalus acanthias
1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12 and 14
270
270
0%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
5, 6, 12, 14
658
658
0%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
7bc
74
74
0%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
8, 9, 10 CECAF 34.1.1
395
395
0%
Pollack
Pollachius pollachius
5b, 6, 12, 14
397
397
0%
Pollack
Pollachius pollachius
7 Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, English channel
12 163
12 163
0%
Pollack
Pollachius pollachius
8abde
1 482
1 482
0%
Pollack
Pollachius pollachius
8c
231
231
0%
Pollack
Pollachius pollachius
9, 10, CECAF 34.1.1
282
282
0%
Saithe
Pollachius virens
7, 8, 9, 10, CECAF 34.1.1
3 176
3 176
0%
Sole
Solea
6
57
57
0%
Sole
Solea
7bc
42
42
0%
Sole
Solea
7hjk
382
382
0%
Sole
Solea
8cde, 9 , 10, CECAF 34.1.1
1072
1072
0%
Tusk
Brosme brosme
Union and int. waters 1, 2, 14
21
21
0%
Tusk
Brosme brosme
3a Kattegat, Skagerrak
31
31
0%
Tusk
Brosme brosme
Union waters of 4
251
251
0%
Tusk
Brosme brosme
Union and int. waters 5, 6, 7
4 130
4 130
0%
Whiting
Merlangius merlangus
8
2 540
2 540
0%
Table 3: Stocks with proposals for decreased Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
Common name
Scientific name
TAC Unit
Final TAC in 2018
TAC 2019 (Proposal)
TAC change: 2018 - 2019 (Proposal)
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
7
33 516
32 999
-2%
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
8abde
8 980

8 371
-7%
Blue ling
Molva dypterygia
Int. waters of 12
286
229
-20%
Cod
Gadus morhua
3aS (Kattegat)
630
476
-24%
Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
7b-k, 8, 9, 10
6 910
5 937
-14%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
8c, 9 and 10, Union waters of CECAF 34.1.1
9 258
7 963
-14%
Herring
Clupea harengus
7a Irish Sea
7 016
6 896
-2%
Herring
Clupea harengus
7ghjk Celtic Sea, South West Ireland
10 127
4 742
-53%
Ling
Molva molva
Union waters of 4
3 843
3 738
-3%
Megrim
Lepidorhombus
Union and int. waters of 5b, 6, 12, 14
5 432
5 363
-1%
Norway lobster
Nephrops
2a and 4
24 518
22 854
-7%
Norway lobster
Nephrops
9, 10
381
281
-26%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
7de
10 360
10 116
-2%
Sole
Solea
2a and 4
15 684
12 247
-22%
Sole
Solea
7d
3 405
2 508
-26%
Sole
Solea
7fg Bristol Channel
920
841
-9%
Sprat
Sprattus sprattus
7de
3 296
2 637
-20%
Cod
Gadus morhua
6a, Union and international waters of 5b

0
-100%
Cod
Gadus morhua
7b, 7c, 7e-k, 8, 9 and 10; Union waters of CECAF

0
-100%
Whiting
Merlangius merlangius
6; Union and international waters of 5b; international waters of 12 and 14

0
-100%
Whiting
Merlangius merlangius
7a

0
-100%
Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

7h, 7j and 7k

0
-100%
Table 4: Stocks for which a by-catch Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is proposed
Common name
Scientific name
TAC Unit
Bycatch TAC 2019
Proposal (t)
Cod
Gadus morhua
6a, Union and international waters of 5b
1396
Cod
Gadus morhua
7b, 7c, 7e-k, 8, 9 and 10; Union waters of CECAF
pm
Whiting
Merlangius merlangius
6; Union and international waters of 5b; international waters of 12 and 14
1238
Whiting
Merlangius merlangius
7a
612
Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

7h, 7j and 7k
90
Table 5: Stocks subject to pending advice or ongoing negotiations
Common name
Scientific name
TAC Unit
Final TAC in 2018
Anchovy
Engraulis
8
33000
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
Union waters of 2a and 4
16225
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
6; Union and international waters of 5b; international waters of 12 and 14
9180
Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
5b, 6a
4654
Norway lobster
Nephrops
6; Union and international waters of 5b
12129
Norway lobster
Nephrops
7
29091
Norway lobster
Nephrops
8abde
3614
Northern Prawn
Pandalus borealis
Union waters of 2a and 4
1957
Skates and rays
Rajiformes
Union waters of 2a and 4
1654
Skates and rays
Rajiformes
Union waters of 3a
47
Skates and rays
Rajiformes
Union waters of 6ab, 7a-c and 7e-k
9699
Skates and rays
Rajiformes
Union waters of 8 and 9
4326
Skates and rays
Rajiformes
7d
1276
Whiting
Merlangius merlangus
7b-k
22213
Undulate Ray
Raja undulata
7d, 7e
180
Table 6: Stocks for which the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is delegated to an individual Member State
Common name
Scientific name
TAC Unit
Delegated to
Herring
Clupea
6 Clyde
United Kingdom
Horse Mackerel
Trachurus
Union waters of CECAF (Canaries)
Spain
Horse Mackerel
Trachurus
Union waters of CECAF (Madeira)
Portugal
Horse Mackerel
Trachurus
10, Union waters of CECAF (Azores)
Portugal
Penaeus shrimps
Penaeus
French Guyana
France