EU/FISHERIES: Europêche calls for fair and balanced fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea
The European Commission have just published their proposal for 2015 fishing opportunities for the main commercial stocks in the Baltic Sea, the first time since the tough new rules of a discard ban and maximum sustainable yield were decided.
The proposal sees a massive 48% cut in quota for western Baltic cod, going from 17.037 tonnes to just 8793 tonnes, despite stocks having grown steadily over the years, with some areas seeing the highest numbers since 2003. The fishermen in this area have felt that they have stuck loyally to the management plan and the scientific advice and this proposal is a blow to their hard work and commitment.
Despite both stocks of plaice having seen an impressive increase of 129% and 48%, the Commission has proposed a decrease of 5%. Similarly sprat could see a disappointing decrease of 17% despite a good track record and salmon quotas could be cut by 8% and 23% for both stocks.
These proposed cuts come at a period of radical change where new rules will include an end to discarding fish, meaning all fish must now be landed and counted against quota. Baltic Sea fishermen will be part of the first phase of this ban to come into force on 1st January 2015. Yet the technical details of these rules are still to be decided by the European Parliament.
President of Europêche, Javier Garat, said 'Fishermen are facing a tough time. Temporary technical rules from the reformed CFP are being decided in the next few months leaving practically no time for adjustment. The discard ban will put further pressure on fishermen and maintaining a viable sector will be almost impossible given the high targets of stocks reaching MSY. Our fishermen are being given no guidance and are being told they could see massive cuts in quota for stocks that have shown huge increases.'
The Commission proposal shall be discussed by ministers at the Fisheries Council on 13-14 October with final decisions on quotas being decided at the Council in December.
Europêche represents the fisheries sector in Europe. Currently, the Association comprises 16 national organisations of fishing enterprises from the following 10 EU Member States: BE, DE, DK, ES, FR, IT, MT, NL, PL, UK.
Kathryn Stack, Managing Director of Europêche: +188.8.131.52.48 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: europeche, fisheries, european union, blatic sea, fishing