EU Commission presents Mediterranean fisheries plan
Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Karmenu Vella has presented to Ministers at the AGRIFISH Council the Adriatic Sea multi-annual plan for small pelagic fisheries.
This proposal is the third multi-annual plan that the Commission is putting forward since the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, applying in this instance particularly to anchovy and sardines.
According to the EU Commission, this is also the first ever in the Mediterranean and if fully implemented has the potential to increase stock by 20%, which the Commission claims will bring tangible improvements in the working conditions for fishermen, with an expected increase in salary of approximately 5% and profits of around 10%.
â€˜The plan marks a milestone in the Commission's approach to fisheries management, and shows that long-term viability of fisheries can still be made possible in a sea basin in which 93% of the fish stocks are assessed as over-exploited,â€™ the EU Commission states, predicting that without this plan in place, anchovy and sardine stocks would most likely collapse between 2020 and 2030.
The momentum for action has been growing since the beginning of 2016, with the launch of the Catania Process and the Commission's campaign MedFish4Ever to enhance concerted political ownership and improved governance in safeguarding vital shared fisheries resources in the region. The process has been a catalyst, with a series of high level discussions together with third countries, on the status of stocks and the need to step-up efforts and cooperation to restore healthy fisheries.
A Ministerial Conference will be organised in Malta, on 29 and 30 March which plans to adopt an ambitious ministerial Declaration by Fisheries Ministers of all Mediterranean countries. The Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration is expected to set clear objectives for the sustainability of Mediterranean fisheries.
Source: EU Commission
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