Some fishing companies will have to tighten their belts yet again as the 2017 quotas come into force, according to French fishermen’s body CNPMEM. A crisis for southern bass in the Bay of Biscay has been narrowly averted, but the same can not be said of the bass fishery in northern waters.
According to CNPMEM, the future of fishing enterprises can not be decided around a few tables and the process of setting TACs needs to be drastically overhauled. Anything short of threatens the credibility of the CFP.
‘The bad news for the Bay of Biscay bass, fortunately withdrawn, shows that the European Commission has been making false moves in the process of restoring stocks and reaching the MSY in 2020. Responsible and constructive proposals by French fishermen allowed Minister Alain Vidalies to oppose, on this species, what felt like a real assault. It’s also thanks to the proposals of all the fishermen who worked at the level of the professional organisations, the committees and the POs, that management measures put in place so that there could be some movement on skates sole. But it’s not enough,’ CNPMEM said.
‘This work has paid off and should make the European Commission understand that it has a strong interest in relying on representative bodies such as the Advisory Councils and the professional organisations of the Member States in considering its quota proposals.’
CNPMEM’s spokesman commented that it is worth a reminder of the the many programmes under which French fishermen have engaged with Ifremer and other scientific partners.
‘If the European Commission itself recognises the efforts of French fishermen on Bay of Biscay bass, “welcoming these commitments and ready to maintain good co-operation,” CNPMEM is asking for more confidence and for the socio-economic interests of the industry to be considered. It encourages taking better account of the work of the various Consultative Committees and engagement in a partnership and multi-annual approach to management,’ CNPMEM states, while commenting that in spite of the efforts made by the Minister and his team, CNPMEM deplores the decisions concerning northern bass which will have serious consequences for industry.