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IP/07/1783

Brussels, 28 November 2007

2008 fishing possibilities: “Further efforts needed to secure the future of European fisheries”

Today, the European Commission tabled its annual proposal on fishing possibilities and attendant measures for 2008. This proposal takes account of the latest independent scientific advice on the state of fish stocks received in October from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the Commission’s own Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries (STECF), and input from stakeholders. It also applies the approach already outlined in the Commission's Policy Statement which was published in June, and has since been the subject of consultations with stakeholders (IP/07/773). The Commission views fisheries management as a long-term process, based on the analysis of long-term trends in the health of fish stocks. As this year's policy statement made clear, there is still a long way to go if we are to achieve the aims of the Common Fisheries Policy, namely fisheries which are sustainable for the long-term in economic, social and biological terms. The Commission is therefore proposing further cuts in effort and/or Total Allowable Catches (TACs) in a number of fisheries, while generally respecting the rule that inter-annual variations should be limited to 15% increase or decrease, so as to provide a degree of stability for stakeholders. However, in a number of cases, scientists have warned that the situation is sufficiently urgent that even larger cuts in fishing opportunities are required. The Commission's proposal will be debated by the Council of Fisheries Ministers when they meet on 17-19 December.

Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs said: “The most recent advice from ICES confirms that while the situation remains broadly stable, indeed with some encouraging developments in certain fisheries, most stocks remain overfished. We must make further efforts if we are to achieve progress towards sustainable fisheries. If we do not the result will be the rapid decline of overfished stocks, and lasting damage to the fleets that depend on them. A growing number of the TACs proposed by the Commission are not ad hoc decisions, but result directly from the implementation of multi-annual management plans decided by the Council. We therefore call on the Council to remain faithful to its long-term commitments, and to make decisions which place the long-term health of our fisheries before any short-term economic or political interests.”

Stocks which are covered by a recovery plan

  • For cod stocks, the Commission makes the following proposals:
  • The improvement in the North Sea cod stock noted by ICES is an encouraging sign, but rests largely on one year class which now needs to be protected until it can contribute to the future of the stock. The recent high level of North Sea cod being taken as bycatch and discarded is, however, worrying and highlights the need to find the right accompanying measures to drastically reduce discarding. Reducing effort in fisheries which catch cod and accompanying cod-avoidance measures can help to achieve this goal. The Commission has therefore agreed with Norway an11% increase in TAC for North Sea cod, and some accompanying measures to reduce discards. In other areas, scientific advice for cod remains very pessimistic, and the Commission is proposing a cut in fishing possibilities by 25%.
  • For Northern hake
  • Northern hake remains in good condition, with the stock at full reproductive capacity and a sustainable harvest rate. However, fishing mortality remains well above a rate which would provide maximum sustainable yield. Continuing to apply the terms of the recovery plan, the Commission proposes an increase of 2.5% in the TAC for 2008.
  • For sole in the Bay of Biscay
  • Bay of Biscay sole is being managed in accordance with a long-term management plan. This year, a 10% reduction in fishing mortality implies an 8% reduction in the TAC for 2008.
  • For southern hake and Nephrops off the Iberian Peninsula:
  • Thanks to two good year classes of southern hake, following the 10% reduction in fishing mortality agreed in the recovery plan would lead to an increase of over 15% in TAC. The Commission is therefore proposing to restrict the increase to 15%, in line with the recovery plan. For the two Nephrops stocks in Iberian waters, TACs are reduced by 15%, again in line with the existing recovery plan. STECF and ICES continue to estimate that real catches may be as much as 75% above the level of TACs authorised, providing further reason to take a prudent approach. Strengthening control and reporting continue to be priorities for this fishery.
  • For North Sea plaice and sole:
  • The 2006 year class of North Sea sole has declined significantly since the spring, leading ICES to revise its advice in the autumn. The Commission is proposing a 15% cut in the TAC. The plaice stock is shared with Norway, with whom the Commission last week agreed a TAC of 49,000 tons. Both these proposals are in line with the EU's multi-annual management plan adopted last June.
  • The Commission’s aim is to extend long-term planning to all the main commercial stocks.

Pelagic fisheries

Poor recruitment continues to mark the main EU herring stocks. In last week's negotiations with Norway, the Commission agreed a 41% reduction in the TAC for the North Sea stock. A substantial 32% reduction has also been agreed with Norway and the Faroe Islands for blue whiting, which continues to deteriorate (see MEX/06/1030).

Short-lived species

The condition of Norway pout has improved on last year, and the Commission is therefore proposing a TAC of 50 000 tonnes in line with scientific advice, with a provision for in-year management. The outlook for anchovy in the Bay of Biscay remains poor, and again the proposal is to keep the fishery closed, subject to revision when data on spring abundance of the stock becomes available. Sandeel in the North Sea will likewise be subject to an in-year proposal on the basis of results from the exploratory fishery in the spring. The condition of sprat in the North Sea is stable, and the Commission last week agreed a 15% increase in the TAC for this stock, which is shared with Norway.

See also MEMO/07/521: "European Commission’s proposal on fishing possibilities: why and how?"

Annex:

Table showing current TACs and Commission proposals for 2008.

Sandeel
Ammodytidae
IV (Norwegian waters)
Not relevant
 Not relevant

Sandeel
Ammodytidae
IIa (EU waters), IIIa, IV (EU waters)
Not established
Not established

Greater silver smelt
Argentina silus
I, II (EU and International waters)
116
116
0%
Greater silver smelt
Argentina silus
III, IV (EU and International waters)
1 331
1 331
0%
Greater silver smelt
Argentina silus
V, VI, VII (EU and International waters)
5 311
5 311
0%
Tusk
Brosme brosme
EU waters of zones IIa, IV, Vb, VI, VII
Not relevant
 Not relevant

Tusk
Brosme brosme
EU and international waters of I, II and XIV
25
21,25
-15%
Tusk
Brosme brosme
EU and international waters of III
31
28
-10%
Tusk
Brosme brosme
EU and international waters of IV
257
222
-14%
Tusk
Brosme brosme
EU and international waters of V, VI and VII
483
423
-12%
Tusk
Brosme brosme
IV (Norwegian waters)
Not relevant
pm

Herring
Clupea harengus
Norwegian waters south of 62° N
Not relevant
pm

Herring
Clupea harengus
Skagerrak and Kattegat, by-catches
15 396
pm

Herring
Clupea harengus
IIIa (Skagerrak and Kattegat)
69 360
pm

Herring
Clupea harengus
IIa (EU waters), IV, VIId
31 875
pm

Herring
Clupea harengus
EU and Norwegian waters of IV north of 53°30' N
341 063
pm

Herring
Clupea harengus
IVc, VIId
341 063
pm

Herring
Clupea harengus
Vb, VIaN (EU waters), VIb
34 000
25 751
-24%
Herring
Clupea harengus
VIaS, VIIbc
13 860
10 395
-25%
Herring
Clupea harengus
VIa Clyde
800
680
-15%
Herring
Clupea harengus
VIIa
4 800
4 400
-8%
Herring
Clupea harengus
VIIe, f
1 000
1 000
0%
Herring
Clupea harengus
VIIg, h, j, k
9 393
7 045
-25%
Anchovy
Engraulis encrasicolus
VIII
0
0

Anchovy
Engraulis encrasicolus
IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
8 000
6 800
-15%
Cod

Gadus morhua

Skagerrak
2 851
pm

Cod
Gadus morhua
Kattegat
731
548,25
-25%
Cod
Gadus morhua
IIa (EU waters), IV
19 957
pm

Cod
Gadus morhua
Norwegian waters south of 62° N
Not relevant
Not relevant

Cod
Gadus morhua
Vb (EU waters), VI, EU and international waters of XII, XIV
490
367,5
-25%
Cod
Gadus morhua
VIa, Vb
490
368
-25%
Cod
Gadus morhua
VIIa
1 462
1 096,5
-25%
Cod
Gadus morhua
VIIb-k, VIII, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
4 743
3 557
-25%
Porbeagle
Lamna
IV, VI, VII (EU waters)
No TAC
422

Megrims
Lepidorhombus spp.
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
1 479
1 479
0%
Megrims
Lepidorhombus spp.
Vb (EU waters), VI, XII, XIV
2 880
2 448
-15%
Megrims
Lepidorhombus spp.
VII
18 300
15 555
-15%
Megrims
Lepidorhombus spp.
VIII a,b,d,e
2 125
1 806,25
-15%
Megrims
Lepidorhombus spp.
VIIIc, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
1 440
1 430
-1%
Common dab and Flounder
Limanda limanda and Platichthys flesus
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
17 100
15 390
-10%
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
11 345
11 345
0%
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
IV (Norwegian waters)
Not relevant
Not relevant
 
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
Vb (EU waters), VI, XII, XIV
5 155
5 155
0%
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
VII
28 080
25 740
-8%
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
VIIIa,b,d,e
7 920
7 260
-8%
Anglerfish
Lophiidae
VIIIc, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
1 955
1 466
-25%
Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
Norwegian waters south of 62° N
Not relevant
Not relevant

Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
IIIa, IIIbcd (EU waters)
3 360
pm

Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
IIa (EU waters), IV
54 640
pm

Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
VIb, XII, XIV
4 615
5 307,25
15%
Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
Vb, VIa (EU waters)
7 200
4 550
-37%
Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
VII, VIII, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
11 520
9 792
-15%
Haddock
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
VIIa subunit within VII
1 179
1 002
-15%
Whiting
Merlangius merlangus
IIIa
1 500
pm

Whiting
Merlangius merlangus
IIa (EU waters), IV
23 800
pm

Whiting
Merlangius merlangus
Vb (EU waters), VI, XII, XIV
1 020
765
-25%
Whiting
Merlangius merlangus
VIIa
371
278
-25%
Whiting
Merlangius merlangus
VIIb, c, d, e, f, g, h, k
19 940
16 949
-15%
Whiting
Merlangius merlangus
VIII
3 600
3 060
-15%
Whiting
Merlangius merlangus
IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
653
555
-15%
Whiting and Pollack
Merlangius merlangus and Pollachius pollachius
Norwegian waters south of 62° N
Not relevant
pm

Hake
Merluccius merluccius
IIIa, IIIbcd (EU waters)
1 588
1 627,79
3%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
1 850
1 896,35
3%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
Vb (EU waters), VI, VII, XII, XIV
29 541
30 281,21
3%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
Vb (EU waters), VI, VII, XII, XIV -
(VIIIabde flexibility)
4 924
5 047,38
3%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
VIII a, b, d, e
19 701
20 194,65
3%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
VIIIabde – (Vb (EU waters), VI, VII, XII, XIV flexibility)
3 828
3 923,92
3%
Hake
Merluccius merluccius
VIIIc, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
6 128
7 047
15%
Blue whiting
Micromesistius poutassou
I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII a,b,d,e, XII, XIV (EU and international waters)
1 700 000
pm

Blue whiting
Micromesistius poutassou
IV (Norwegian waters)
1 700 000
pm

Blue whiting
Micromesistius poutassou
VIIIc, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
1 700 000
pm

Blue whiting
Micromesistius poutassou
II, IV a, VI a North of 56°30'N, VIb, VII West of 12° W
1 700 000
pm

Lemon sole and Witch
Microstomus kitt & Glyptocephalus cynoglossus
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
6 175
5 557,5
-10%
Blue ling
Molva dypterigia
IIa, IV, Vb, VI, VII (EU waters)
160
pm

Blue ling
Molva dypterigia
VI North (EU waters)
200
pm

Ling
Molva molva
I, II (EU and International waters)
45
45
0%
Ling
Molva molva
III (EU waters)
109
95
-13%

Ling
Molva molva
IV (EU waters)
3 173
2 776
-13%
Ling
Molva molva
V (EU and International waters)
38
34
-11%
Ling
Molva molva
VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XII, XIV (EU waters and international waters)
11 973
10 476
-13%
Ling
Molva molva
EU waters of zones IIa, IV, Vb, VI, VII
Not relevant
Not relevant

Ling
Molva molva
IV (Norwegian waters)
Not relevant
pm

Norway lobster
Nephrops norvegicus
IIIa (EU waters), IIIbcd (EU waters)
5 170
pm

Norway lobster
Nephrops norvegicus
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
26 144
26 144
0%
Norway lobster
Nephrops norvegicus
Vb (EU waters), VI
19 885
19 885
0%
Norway lobster
Nephrops norvegicus
VII
25 153
25 153
0%
Norway lobster
Nephrops norvegicus
VIII a, b, d, e
4 320
4 320
0%
Norway lobster
Nephrops norvegicus
VIIIc
131
111
-15%
Norway lobster
Nephrops norvegicus
IV (Norwegian waters)
Not relevant
Not relevant

Norway lobster
Nephrops norvegicus
IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
437
371
-15%
Northern prawn
Pandalus borealis
IIIa
11 620
pm

Northern prawn
Pandalus borealis
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
3 984
pm

Northern prawn
Pandalus borealis
Norwegian waters south of 62°00’ N
Not relevant
Not relevant

'Penaeus' shrimps
Penaeus spp.
French Guyana
4 108
4 108
0%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
Skagerrak
8 500
pm

Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
Kattegat
2 125
pm

Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
IIa (EU waters), IV
50 261
pm

Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
Vb (EU waters), VI, XII, XIV
786
688
-12%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
VIIa
1 849
1 740
-6%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
VII b, c
122
103,7
-15%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
VII d, e
5 050
4 577
-9%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
VII f, g
417
491
18%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
VII h, j, k
337
286,45
-15%
Plaice
Pleuronectes platessa
VIII, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
448
381
-15%
Pollack
Pollachius pollachius
Vb (EU waters), VI, XII, XIV
450
383
-15%
Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

VII
15300
15300
0%
Pollack
Pollachius pollachius
VIII a, b, d, e
1 680
1 680
0%
Pollack
Pollachius pollachius
VIIIc
262
223
-15%
Pollack
Pollachius pollachius
IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
288
245
-15%
Saithe
Pollachius virens
IIa (EU waters), IIIa, IIIbcd (EU waters), IV
123 250
pm

Saithe
Pollachius virens
Norwegian waters south of 62° N
Not relevant
pm

Saithe
Pollachius virens
Vb (EU waters), VI, XII, XIV
12 787
pm

Saithe
Pollachius virens
VII, VIII, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
3 790
3 790
0%
Turbot and brill
Psetta maxima & Scophthalmus rhombus
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
4 323
3 890,7
-10%
Skates and rays
Rajidae
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
2 190
1 643
-25%
Greenland halibut
Reinhardtius hippoglossoides
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters), VI (EU and International waters)
Not relevant
Not relevant

Mackerel
Scomber scombrus
IIa (EU waters), IIIa, IIIb, c, d (EU waters), IV
422 551
pm

Mackerel
Scomber scombrus
IIa , Vb (EU waters), VI, VII, VIII a, b, d, e, XII, XIV
422 551
pm

Mackerel
Scomber scombrus
VIIIc, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
29 611
pm

Common sole
Solea solea
IIIa, IIIb,c,d (EU waters)
900
765
-15%
Common sole
Solea solea
IIa, IV (EU waters)
15 020
12 800
-15%
Common sole
Solea solea
Vb (EU waters), VI, XII, XIV
68
58
-15%
Common sole
Solea solea
VIIa
816
612
-25%
Common sole
Solea solea
VIIb, c
65
55
-15%
Common sole
Solea solea
VIId
6 220
6 070
-2%
Common sole
Solea solea
VIIe
900
765
-15%
Common sole
Solea solea
VIIf, g
893
920
3%
Common sole
Solea solea
VIIh, j, k
650
553
-15%
Common sole
Solea solea
VIIIa, b
4 540
4 170
-8%
Sole
Solea spp.
VIIIc, d, e, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EU waters)
1 216
1 034
-15%
Sprat

Sprattus sprattus

IIIa
52 000
pm

Sprat
Sprattus sprattus
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
195 000
pm

Sprat
Sprattus sprattus
VIId, e
6 144
5 222
-15%
Spurdog/dogfish
Squalus acanthias
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
841
631
-25%
Spurdog/dogfish
Squalus acanthias
IIIa , I, V, VI, VII, VIII, XII and XIV (EU and international waters)
2 828
2 121
-25%
Horse mackerel
Trachurus spp.
IIa (EU waters), IV (EU waters)
42 727
42 567
0%
Horse mackerel
Trachurus spp.
Vb (EU waters), VI, VII, VIIIa, b, d, e, XII, XIV
137 000
136 488
0%
Horse mackerel
Trachurus spp.
VIIIc, IX
55 000
54 795
0%
Horse mackerel
Trachurus spp.
X, CECAF Azores
3 200
2 720
-15%
Horse mackerel
Trachurus spp.
CECAF Madeira Islands
1 280
1 088
-15%
Horse mackerel
Trachurus spp.
CECAF Canary Islands
1 280
1 088
-15%
Norway pout
Trisopterus esmarki
IIa (EU waters), IIIa, IV (EU waters)
Not relevant
Not relevant

Norway pout
Trisopterus esmarki
IV (Norwegian waters)
Not relevant
Not relevant

Combined quota
 
EU waters of zones Vb, VI and VII
140
pm

Other species

IIa, IV, VIa N EU waters
Not relevant
Not relevant


1 Council Regulation (EC) No 41/2007 of 21 December 2006.
2 Proposal for a Council Regulation fixing TACs and quotas for 2008.
* "Not relevant" = TAC not set but EC quota to be established as a result of exchange/transfer from non-EU countries or unilaterally"


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