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Europêche delivers warning on North Sea MAP proposals

Published by FiskerForum, 22-03-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

With the North Sea MAP about to be discussed by the European PECH Committee, Europêche has welcomed the proposal for a multiannual plan to manage demersal species, but is less than satisfied with the proposed measures.

‘Europêche welcomes the European Commission legislative proposal aimed at providing a solid multiannual plan to manage demersal species (i.e. species living close to the sea bottom) in the North Sea,’ a Europêche spokesman said.

‘However, we are generally dissatisfied with the proposed measures,’ he said, commenting that while the plan should aim to respond to the challenges from the landing obligation and to tackle the complexities of mixed fisheries, but fails to do this.

‘Mixed fisheries represent a particular challenge since the stocks are characterised by numerous interactions and unexpected population trends; not easily predictable with the current scientific instruments available,” Europêche stated.

‘Scientific institutes lack the resources, both financially and staff-wise to build models covering the mixed fisheries.’

Europêche argues that the Council position is much closer to reality, since so far it proposes to thoroughly manage the main target species (MSY) while monitoring the sustainable harvesting of non-target species (precautionary approach).

‘Governing by-catch and minor species under more stringent TACs would certainly accentuate the choke species problem. Furthermore, the introduction of target value ranges instead of point targets is also a big step forward,’ Europêche’s spokesman said.

‘However, we criticise the artificial split of the ranges which is not scientifically justifiable. A range is a range, valid from the lower beginning until the upper end. Finally, in the context of the landing obligation, the plan should be reviewed more frequently than is proposed to ensure its smooth running.’

Source: Europêche

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