The Netherlands will be pushing at this week’s December Council of Minister for a higher sole quota than that recommended by ICES, which advised a 22% reduction.
‘The quota that the Netherlands recommends is still within the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY),’ explained minister responsible for fisheries Carola Schouten. ‘We are seeking a better sole quota, which remains within the margins of the MSY multi-annual plans.’
She commented that discussion has already taken place with Norway over joint TACs and quotas, and the decisions will be taken during the council this week, with a reduction in the herring TAC to be spread over two years and an expected 33% reduction in cod (excluding the correction for the Landing Obligation), while the plaice TAC is expected to be cut by 13%.
She said that the European Commission is pushing for tighter measures on eel fishing, little will change for Dutch eel fishermen.
‘The proposal is to close professional and recreational eel fishing for three months in all European seas and waters. The Netherlands already used this system in 2018,’ she said.
The Dutch Parliament’s House of Representatives has also discussed the landing obligation that will take effect from 1st January 2019.
‘We have arranged a number of exceptions for the landing obligation. We are committed to more research and measures aimed at improving selectivity. There can be better monitoring of main and by-catch,’ Carola Schouten said.
‘It’s an important process to see how the landing obligation will operate in practice.’