The Commission has proposed Total Allowable Catches (TAC) for a number of species for 2019 and 2020, in an effort to restore deep-sea fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic. Based on scientific advice, these new measures will enable stocks to gradually rebuild to sustainable levels.
‘Our proposal invites Member States to apply a precautionary approach to reverse the worrying situation of declining deep-sea fish stocks,’ said Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
‘It is in our shared interest to ensure that we have healthy fish stocks in deep-sea waters, for the sake of our fishermen and coastal communities, their livelihoods and for our marine ecosystems. Evidence also shows that sustainable fish stocks go hand in hand with a thriving industry.’
The Commission’s proposal is based on precautionary scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), and takes into account the Landings Obligation that comes into force on 1st January 2019.
The Commission’s proposals reduce catch limits for seven species, including alfonsino and black scabbard, while fishing for orange roughy will remain at zero
Positive scientific advice concerning red seabream around the Azores and roundnose grenadier in south-western waters, has allowed the European Commission to propose increased quotas for these species over the next two years.
The proposal is also to cancel the TAC management system for greater forkbeard in the north-east Atlantic, roundnose grenadier in the North Sea and black scabbard in the North Sea and Skagerrak, as these are fished in small quantities which does not prevent them from reproducing.
The scientific advice for deep-sea sharks was delivered on 5th October and is currently being analysed. The Commission will complete the current proposal in view of its adoption by EU Member States in the Council, currently scheduled for 19-20th November.