EU fisheries ministers have agreed on the new finishing quotas for 2019 and 2020. The total allowable catches (TACs) have been set for deep sea sharks, black scabbardfish, alfonsino, roundnose grenadier and red seabream. The proposed regulation on fishing for some species sets the limits for EU fishing vessels for the commercially most viable deep-sea species in the EU and the international waters of the North East Atlantic.
Deep-sea fish are caught in waters beyond continental shelves and they account for about 1% of the catch in the North East Atlantic. The EU decided to protect these species due to their vulnerability and over-exploitation, hence decided to raise the TACs for some stocks and reduce the TACs for the ten other stocks. “The sustainability of fish stocks and the viability of the EU’s fisheries industry are key criteria when it comes to setting catch limits,” said Austrian minister Elisabeth Koestinger and added that “we decided to make cuts to fishing opportunities for deep-sea stocks in 2019 and 2020. This will protect our maritime environment and help our industry in the longer term.”
The Council is supportive of the Commission’s proposal, as it is in line with scientific evidence. The TAC management is guided by the advice of scientific community and as such the quotas for some species have been adjusted based on the most recent evidence. Europe regulates fishing in its territorial waters through the Common Fishing Policy (CFP) that sets rules for managing European fishing fleets and conserving fish stocks. The policy is meant to manage a common resource giving all European fishing fleets equal access to EU waters and fishing grounds. The common goal is to allow all fishermen to compete fairly.