El voto del Parlamento Europeo sobre el plan plurianual para las poblaciones de peces demersales en el Mar del Norte plantea problemas a la industria

Ayer 12 de julio de 2017, la Comisión de Pesca del Parlamento Europeo adoptó su posición sobre la propuesta de la Comisión Europea por la que se establece un plan plurianual para las poblaciones demersales en el Mar del Norte. Europêche acoge con satisfacción el paso decisivo hacia la adopción final de esta propuesta legislativa que, en el contexto de la regionalización, acercará la toma de decisiones a los pescadores que operan en esta área. No obstante, determinadas medidas adoptadas por el PE, como la introducción de cuotas plurianuales de pesca para determinadas poblaciones, constituirían una amenaza para la aplicación de la obligación de desembarque y, por tanto, no abordarían la complejidad de las pesquerías mixtas.

The North Sea is one of the healthiest seas in Europe counting with almost 60% of landings coming from stocks at the highest levels of biological sustainability. Other stocks are expected to gradually reach these levels, thanks to the reduction of fishing effort and better recruitment over the past few years. The introduction of the new regionalised legal framework intends to guarantee this positive trend in the long-term securing both sustainable fishing opportunities and the livelihoods of fishers.

Europêche appreciates the establishment of different ranges instead of point targets, within which the Council can set the annual Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and achieve sustainable levels for the stocks covered by the plan at the latest by 2020. However, the fishing organisation criticises the artificial split of the ranges which is scientifically non-justifiable. A range is a range and should be valid from the lower beginning until the upper end.

Opposite to the EP position, Europêche considers that recreational fisheries should not be covered by this plan since the activity is not regulated by Common Fisheries Policy and there is no previous impact assessment performed by the European Commission in its proposal on the subject.

The fishing industry expects a plan able to cope with the challenges from the landing obligation and to tackle the complexities of mixed-fisheries. The latter represents a particular challenge since the stocks are characterised by numerous interactions and unexpected population trends not easily predictable with the current scientific instruments available. Scientific institutes lack the resources, both financially and staff-wise to build models covering the mixed-fisheries. Europêche argues that the Council position is more realistic since so far they propose to thoroughly manage the main target species (Maximum Sustainable Yield assessment) while monitoring the sustainable harvesting of non-target species (precautionary approach). Governing by-catch and minor species under more stringent TACs and quotas would certainly accentuate the choke species problem. 

Pim Visser, VisNed/Europêche, declared: ‘We are convinced the EP has delivered an important contribution towards the trilogue discussions leading to a new multi-annual management plan for the North Sea. We are however deeply concerned that in its current form, as proposed by the EP, this plan will be hindering managers in carrying out their fishing operations in a sustainable and economically viable way. On the contrary, the stipulations as formulated by the EP Committee on Fisheries will lead to quota setting for certain species which will be choking the mixed demersal fisheries in the North Sea’.   

Whether this plan would be good enough to adequately regulate demersal fisheries in the North Sea under the Common Fisheries Policy very much depends on the future trilogue negotiations. We believe that the current design can be and must be further improved in order to make the plan flexible and responsive to the evolving realities of fisheries.


Europêche represents the fisheries sector in Europe. Currently, the Association comprises 14 national organisations of fishing enterprises from the following 10 EU Member States: DE, DK, ES, FR, IT, MT, NL, LV, PL, UK.

Press contacts:

Daniel Voces, Acting Managing Director of Europêche: +

Sources: Europeche

Tags: Mar del Norte, TAC, obligación de desembarque, prohibición de descarte, plan plurianual, plan de gestión, Oportunidades de pesca, parlamento europeo, PECH, cuota