EU Fishing Quotas to Be Increased

Written by | Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
@Eubulletin

Based on the judgment of the scientific community, Europe’s fishing quotas can rise in the upcoming months, thus increasing the amount of fish that can be caught in the EU’s territorial waters. Negotiators who have been trying to reach an agreement for a couple of days agreed that 27 out of 50 available stocks will be used for fishing at maintainable yields next year, which is two more than this year. Because a new system of quotas will enter into force in 2014, it is high time for EU member states to finally agree on the new fish quotas.
The European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, thinks that the gathering had preemptively plunged into the conservationist spirit of the reforms that will shape the system of fish quotas from 2015 on. However, EU Commissioner Damanaki also said that she was very happy because this year ministers made up their minds and implemented the reform ahead of time. Therefore, all parts and details of the new legislation are already prepared. Mrs. Damanaki added the EU would be able to steadily increase its fishing quotas if the population trends are positive and not volatile. Yet, if the fish “demographics” does not follow the desired trends, EU28 will have to reduce the quotas.
The greens commented that the outcome of the meeting showed some improvement, but the sustainability was not achieved in a voluntary way. For instance, Xavier Pastor, Europe’s executive director of the largest international ocean conservation organization – Oceana – said that the council’s approach was “tepid”, although a progress had been made in the adoption of certain catch limit criteria. The Council agreed to increase the number of stocks used at maximum sustainable yield up to 30, yet it is pity that almost half of the available stocks will remain over-exploited beyond the maintainable limits proposed by the scientists.
Typically, the amount of fish to be caught falls short of the economic needs and demand. In fact, in 1987-2011 the demand was higher than the recommended catching level by a third. Under the legislation adopted last week though, the new quotas will have to be set according to the fish population forecasts and opinions of experts.

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