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EU Ministers agree 2018 Atlantic and North Sea catch limits

Published by FiskerForum, 13-12-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

As this year’s December Council came to its late-night finish early this morning, EU ministers have reached an agreement on fishing opportunities for 2018 in the Atlantic, North Sea and Black Sea following negotiations at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 11 - 12 December. The negotiations were based on the Commission's proposal for Total Allowable Catches.

The intention is that this morning's agreement will bring 53 TACs to Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels in 2018. This is nine more stocks than in 2017.

‘We are now more than half-way to the 2020 deadline to ensure that all stocks are fished sustainable. With today's agreement two-thirds of fish in the Atlantic and the North Sea will be subject to sustainable catch limits next year,’ commented Commissioner Karmenu Vella.

‘Each year we move closer to our objective of sustainable fisheries and this will bring substantial long term reward.’

As the size of some key fish stocks is increasing, so is the profitability of the fishing sector. The EU Commission puts the value of agreements on fishing opportunities at over €5 billion, benefiting more than 50,000 fishermen.

For the first time at EU level, it was agreed to close eel fisheries for three months during their migration period. Moreover, Member States committed to additional actions to protect the eels throughout its lifecycle and in all sea basins. These measures are crucial, both for the recovery of the stock and to safeguard the communities who depend on this fishery.

For sea bass, an improved package was agreed which should allow the stock to start recovering following years of decline. The package recognises the responsibility of commercial and recreational fishermen alike.

Source: EU Commission

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