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European Commission - Press release

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2016

Brussels, 10 November 2015

The European Commission proposes fish quotas (Total Allowable Catches) for 2016 for the Atlantic and the North Sea.

The Commission proposes to maintain or increase the fish quotas for 35 stocks, and reduce catches for 28 stocks on the basis of the scientific advice received.

The Commission is proposing an increase in fishing opportunities to help fishermen in the transition to the new obligation to land all catches. This is the first time the Commission proposes so-called quota "top ups" for all the fisheries under the landing obligation as of 2016. This extra quota aims to compensate fishermen for the extra fish they will have to land. On the basis of scientific advice to be received by mid-November the Commission will, later in the month, propose the catch increase including all the quantities that need to be landed.

The Commission's goal, and one of the pillars of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), is to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels, respecting the Maximum Sustainable Yield. Fishing at Maximum Sustainable Yield levels allows the fishing industry to take the highest amount of fish from the sea while keeping fish stocks healthy. The Commission proposes bringing the stocks to Maximum Sustainable Yield levels on the basis of scientific advice received from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). This year, advice was given for 34 stocks.

Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "My objective is clear and ambitious: I want us to bring all stocks to healthy and sustainable levels as soon as possible. I am happy that for a number of fish stocks we can propose quota increases and achieve Maximum Sustainable Yield in 2016. The efforts of our fishermen paid off and we are here to support them also in making the transition to landing all fish caught. For other fish stocks however cuts need to be made so that we can protect the future of those stocks."

This proposal will be presented by Commissioner Vella and submitted to discussion to the Ministers of the Member States at the December Fisheries Council to be applied as from 1 January 2016.

Today's proposal is the annual proposal for the amount of fish which can be caught by European Union fishermen from the main commercial fish stocks next year. It covers stocks managed by the EU alone and stocks managed with third countries such as Norway or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) across the world's oceans.

International negotiations for many of the stocks concerned are still ongoing. The proposal therefore only includes figures for about half of the TACs at this stage. It will be completed once negotiations with third countries and within RFMOs have taken place.

Details of the proposal

For some EU stocks already at MSY, such as megrims in the North Sea and horse mackerel in Iberian and Western waters, the Commission proposes to increase TACs.

At the same time, some stocks have not greatly improved since last year. Cod stocks in the Irish Sea and the Celtic Sea continue to be in a bad state. Sole stocks in areas such as the Irish Sea, Eastern Channel or Bay of Biscay are very vulnerable. Advice for haddock and cod in the Celtic Sea demands considerable TAC cuts to bring them to MSY levels. Cod in the West of Scotland, which sees extremely high rates of discarding, is still at a risk of collapse. Advice for the northern stock of sea bass also calls for significant cuts in catch levels. The Commission has included proposals for managing sea bass in 2016 in its proposal.

For many of these stocks, even more selective fishing techniques are urgently needed, so that young fish are not caught before they can reproduce and replenish the fish stocks. This is particularly urgent for fisheries in the Celtic Sea and the Western waters, where a big effort is needed by Member States and the fishing industry to implement the selectivity measures advised by scientists. This will also help the fishing sector to comply with the obligation to land all catches, which will apply to more and more stocks in the coming years.

For stocks where data are not good enough to properly estimate their size, the Commission proposal goes in the direction of advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), with cuts or increases of a maximum of 20%. Following a Council decision last year on precautionary reductions, TAC proposals are maintained at 2015 levels for 26 of these stocks.

For a limited number of EU stocks, the Commission has received the scientific advice only recently. The advice will be further analysed before the Commission proposes a TAC figure later in the autumn.

For fish stocks shared with third countries (Norway, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Russia), the European Commission, on behalf of the EU, negotiates towards the end of each year the quantities of fish to be caught the following year.

For the stocks in international waters and for highly migratory species, such as tuna, the European Commission, representing the EU, negotiates fish quotas in the framework of RFMOs. These must subsequently be transposed into EU law.

More information:

See attached tables for details on today's proposals for the Atlantic and the North Sea

TACs and quotas: http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/cfp/fishing_rules/tacs/index_en.htm

Questions and Answers on Commission's proposal on fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2016: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-6030_en.htm

Questions and Answers on Quota Top-ups: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-6017_en.htm

Infographic on Quota Top-ups: http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/documentation/publications/2015-definition-of-tac-proposals_en.pdf

Scientific advice: the proposed TACs take due account of the scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), see: http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/cfp/fishing_rules/scientific_advice/index_en.htm

Stakeholders were also consulted, based on the Commission's Consultation document from the beginning of June: see IP/15/5082

Multiannual management plans: http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/cfp/fishing_rules/multi_annual_plans/index_en.htm

Map of fishing areas: http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/documentation/publications/cfp_factsheets/fishing_areas_en.pdf


Note: the tables below only list EU stocks not shared with third countries.

Table 1: Stocks with proposals for increased TAC

Scientific name

Common name

TAC Unit

(See map)

TAC in 2015

TAC 2016 (Proposal)

TAC change: 2015 - 2016 (Proposal)

Lepidorhombus

Megrims

IIa (EC), IV (EC)

2083

2639

26,7%

Lepidorhombus

Megrims

Vb(EC), VI,

4129

4900

18,7%

Trachurus

Horse Mackerel

VIIIc

13572

17235

27,0%

Trachurus

Horse Mackerel

IX

59500

68583

15,3%

 

Table 2: Stocks with no changes in TAC[1]

Scientific name

Common name

TAC Unit

(See map)

TAC in 2015

TAC 2016 (Proposal)

TAC change: 2015 - 2016 (Proposal)

Engraulis

Anchovy

IX,X,CECAF 34.1.1.

9656

9656

0,0%

Gadus morhua

Cod

VIa, Vb…

0

0

0.0%

Squalus

Spurdog

All TACs

0

0

0,0%

[1] This table does not include the stocks included in the Joint Statement by the Council and the Commission "Ad Specific Data Limited Stocks" (see Council document PECHE 13, 5232/14). The TACs for data limited stocks included in this statement will be maintained for a further 4 years, unless the perception of the status of any of these stocks changes significantly during this period.

 

 Table 3: Stocks with proposals for decreased TAC

Scientific name

Common name

TAC Unit

(See map)

TAC in 2015

TAC 2016 (Proposal)

TAC change: 2015 - 2016 (Proposal)

Argentina silus

Greater silver smelt

V,VI,VII EC + int. w.

4316

3453

-20,0%

Caproidae

Boarfish

VI, VII, VIII EC

53296

42637

-20,0%

Clupea

Herring

VIIghjk

19198

15442

-19,6%

Clupea

Herring

VIIa

4854

4575

-5,7%

Dicentrarchus labrax

Sea Bass*

IVb and c, VIIa, and VIId–h

2656

1449

-46%

Gadus morhua

Cod

VIIb,c,e-k, VIII,IX,X,CECAF 34.1.1 (EC)

5072

3569

-29,6%

Gadus morhua

Cod

VIIa

182

146

-20%

Limanda limanda & Platichthys flesus

Dab and flounder

Union waters of IIa and IV

18434

14747  

-20,0%

Lepidorhombus

Megrims

VIIIc,IX, X, CECAF34.1.1(EC)

1377

1013

-26,4%

Lophius

Anglerfish

VII

33516

29534

-11,9%

Lophius

Anglerfish

VIIIabde

8980

7914

-11,9%

Lophius

Anglerfish

VIIIc,IX,X,CECAF 34.1.1

2987

2413

-19,2%

Melanogrammus

Haddock

VIIb-k, VIII, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EC)

8342

6078

-27,1

Merlangius

Whiting

VIII

3175

2540

-20%

Merlangius

Whiting

Vb(EC waters), VI, XII, XIV

263

213

-19%

Microstomus kitt & Glyptocephalus cynoglossus

Lemon sole and witch

IIa (EC), North Sea (EC)

6391

5848

-8,5%

Molva dypterigia

Blue ling

int waters of XII

558

446

-20%

Nephrops

Norway lobster

IIa (EC), North Sea (EC)

17843

14315

-19,8%

Pleuronectes

Plaice

VIIa

1098

878

-20%

Pleuronectes

Plaice

VIIfg

461

420

-8,9%

Pollachius pollachius

Pollack

VII

13495

10796

-20,0%

Pollachius pollachius

Pollack

VIIIabde

1482

1186

-20,0%

Psetta maxima & Scopthalmus rhombus

Turbot and Brill

Union waters of IIa and IV

4642

4488

-3,3%

Rajidae

Skates and rays

IIIa

47

38

-20,0%

Rajidae

Skates and rays

Union waters of VIa, VIb, VIIa-c and VIIe-k

8032

6426

-20,0%

Rajidae

Skates and rays

IIa (EC), IV - North Sea (EC)

1256

1005

-20,0%

Rajidae

Skates and rays

VIId

798

638

-20,0%

Rajidae

Skates and rays

EC waters of VIII, IX

3420

3078

-10,0%

Solea solea

Common sole

VIIa

90

0

-100%

 * for sea bass there is no TAC; instead tonnages given are estimated catches as a result of catch limits and closures applied in 2015 and proposed in 2016. These include both recreational and commercial fisheries.

 

Table 4: Stocks subject to late advice or ongoing negotiations

Scientific name

Common name

TAC Unit

(See map)

Brosme brosme

Tusk

Union and international waters of V, VI and VII

Clupea

Herring

Union and international waters of Vb, VIb and VIaN

Clupea

Herring

VIaS, VIIbc

Gadus morhua

Cod

Kattegat

Lepidorhombus

Megrims

VII

Lepidorhombus

Megrims

VIIIabde

Lophius

Anglerfish

IIa (EC), North Sea (EC)

Lophius

Anglerfish

Vb(EC), VI, XII, XIV

Melanogrammus

Haddock

Vb,VIa

Melanogrammus

Haddock

VIIa

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

Haddock

Union and international waters of VIb, XII and XIV

Merlangius

Whiting

VIIb-k

Merlangius

Whiting

IX,X,CECAF 34.1.1.(EU)

Merluccius

Hake

VIIIc, IX, X, CECAF 34.1.1 (EC)

Merluccius

Hake (overall N. TAC)

overall northern TACs (IIIa / IIa and IV / Vb, VI, VII, XII and XIV / VIIIabde)

Molva dypterigia

Blue ling

EC and int waters of Vb, VI, VII

Molva molva

Ling

IV(EC)

Molva molva

Ling

EC and intl waters of VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XII, XIV

Nephrops

Norway lobster

VII

Nephrops

Norway lobster

Vb(EU and international), VI

Nephrops

Norway lobster

IIIa; Union waters of Subdivisions 22-32

Nephrops

Norway lobster

IX and X; EC waters of CECAF 34.1.1

Nephrops

Norway lobster

VIIIabde

Nephrops

Norway lobster

VIIIc

Penaeus

Penaeus shrimps

French Guyana

Pleuronectes

Plaice

VIIde

Pleuronectes

Plaice

Kattegat

Solea solea

Common sole

Union waters of IIa and IV

Solea solea

Common sole

VIIe

Solea solea

Common sole

VIId

Solea solea

Common sole

IIIa, IIIbcd (EC)

Solea solea

Common sole

VIIfg

Solea solea

Common sole

VIIIab

Sprattus sprattus

Sprat

Union waters of IIa and IV

Trachurus

Horse Mackerel

IIa, IVa, VI, VII, VIIIabde; EC waters of Vb, XII, XIV

Trachurus

Horse Mackerel

Union waters of IVb, IVc and VIId

 

Table 5: Stocks for which the TAC is delegated to an Individual MS

Scientific name

Common name

TAC Unit

(See map)

MS responsible

Clupea

Herring

VIaS Clyde

United Kingdom

Trachurus

Horse Mackerel

CECAF(Canaries)

Spain

Trachurus

Horse Mackerel

CECAF(Madeira)

Portugal

Trachurus

Horse Mackerel

X, CECAF(Azores)

Portugal


IP/15/6016

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