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European Commission - Press release

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2018

Brussels, 7 November 2017

Ahead of the December Fisheries Council, where Member States will agree next year's fishing quotas in the Atlantic and North Sea, the Commission is presenting its proposal for sustainable fishing by the industry.

Today the Commission presents its proposal for fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and the North Sea for 2018. The Commission proposes quotas for 76* stocks: for 53 stocks the fishing quota is either increased or remains the same and for 23* stocks is reduced. The fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches (TACs), are quotas set for most commercial fish stocks that keep the stocks healthy, while allowing the fishing industry to profit from fishing the highest amount of fish. As the size of some key fish stocks is increasing – notably for sole in the North Sea, northern hake and southern horse mackerel – so is the profitability of the fishing sector, with an estimated EUR 1.5 billion profit for 2017.

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "Our fleet is becoming more profitable and that is because some of the EU's key fish stocks are healthier and more abundant. The perseverance of the fishermen and the responsible fisheries management decisions stand to prove that sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand. That being said now is not the time for complacency. We must continue our joint efforts to manage our seas and oceans in a way that works for the environment, for the economy and for future generations."

The EU has made important progress over recent years, with 44 stocks now fished at Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels, up from only 5 in 2009. The objective under the Common Fisheries Policy is to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels by 2020. The process towards this goal takes into account socioeconomic and environmental factors. As the legally binding deadline for the 2020 target draws closer, the margin for setting quotas that are not sustainable is narrowing. The Commission is working with Member States to support the fishermen in this transition.

Today's proposal will be submitted for discussion and decision by the Member States at the December Fisheries Council (11-12 December in Brussels), to be applied as from 1 January 2018.

Details of the proposal

The Commission proposes fishing quotas on the basis of independent scientific advice received from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

The proposal covers stocks managed by the EU alone and stocks managed in cooperation with third countries, such as Norway, or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). International negotiations for many of the stocks concerned are still ongoing and some further stocks are awaiting scientific advice. For these, the figures will be included at a later stage.

Later this autumn, the Commission will propose additional quotas, the so-called 'quota top-ups', for fisheries that in 2018 fall under the landing obligation, which requires that all catches of regulated commercial species on-board are landed and counted against quota. The allowed quota is thereby increased to facilitate the transition to the new system of 'no discards'. The exact top-ups per fishery will be determined on the basis of scientific advice. The proposal does not take into account the forthcoming TAC top-ups.

  • Proposed increases: For 19 stocks, such as Norway lobster in the North Sea, 4 sole stocks and 3 plaice stocks in North Western waters, and megrims in South Western waters, the Commission proposes to increase the Total Allowable Catch. The increases also include the socioeconomically important sole stock in the Bay of Biscay that has followed a management plan led by the industry, and can now be increased. The same applies to sole in the Eastern Channel and the Western Atlantic stock of horse mackerel which can also be increased.
  • Stocks that can be fished as before: 14 stocks are kept at the same level as last year.
  • Proposed decreases: Decreases are proposed for 23* stocks. For 15 of these, the decrease proposed is less than 20%. For plaice in the Celtic sea and whiting in West of Scotland* a zero TAC is proposed.
  • A proposal to prohibit fishing of eels is introduced for all Union waters, following scientific advice emphasising the importance of ceasing all fisheries that target spawners, until there is clear evidence of improvement of the state of the stock.
  • Stocks for which scientific data are lacking: For cases where data are not sufficient to properly estimate the stock's size, the Commission proposal follows scientific advice from ICES, i.e. cuts or increases of a maximum of 20%.

For more information

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

TACs and quotas

Questions and Answers on Commission's proposal on fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2018

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).

Stakeholders were also consulted, based on the Commission's Consultation document

Multiannual management plans

Map of fishing areas

 

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

Table 1: Stocks with proposals for increased TAC

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

final TAC in 2017, incl top-up

TAC 2018 (Proposal, excl top-up)

TAC change: 2017 - 2018 (Proposal)

Cod

Gadus morhua

7a

146

292

100%

Common sole

Solea solea

7d

2724

2933

8%

Common sole

Solea solea

8ab

3420

3621

6%

Common sole

Solea solea

7e

1178

1202

2%

Common sole

Solea solea

7fg

845

901

7%

Greater silver smelt

Argentina silus

Union waters of 3 and 4

1028

1234

20%

Greater silver smelt

Argentina silus

Union and international waters of 5, 6 and 7

3884

4661

20%

Haddock

Melanogrammus

7a

2615

2796

7%

Herring

Clupea

7a

4127

7016

70%

Horse Mackerel

Trachurus

Union waters of 2a, 4a; 6, 7a-c,7e-k, 8abde; Union and international waters of 5b; international waters of 12 and 14

83829

101070

21%

Horse Mackerel

Trachurus

8c

13271

16000

21%

Megrims

Lepidorhombus

8c, 9 and 10; Union waters of CECAF 34.1.1

1159

1387

20%

Norway lobster

Nephrops

Union waters of 2a and 4

20034

20851

4%

Plaice

Pleuronectes

7a

1098

1793

63%

Plaice

Pleuronectes

7de

10022

10360

3%

Plaice

Pleuronectes

7fg

405

511

26%

Tusk

Brosme brosme

3a, subdivision 22-32

29

31

7%

Tusk

Brosme brosme

4

235

251

7%

Tusk

Brosme brosme

Union and international waters of 5, 6 and 7

3860

4130

7%

 

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

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

final TAC in 2017, incl top-up

TAC 2018 (Proposal, excl top-up)

TAC change: 2017 - 2018 (Proposal)

Cod

Gadus morhua

Kattegat

525

525

0%

Cod

Gadus morhua

6a; Union and international waters of 5b east of 12º 00' W

0

0

0%

Common sole

Solea solea

7a

40

40

0%

Greenland halibut

Reinhardtius hippoglossoides

Union waters of 2a and 4, international waters of 5b and 6

2500

2500

0%

Herring

Clupea harengus

Union and international waters of 5b, 6b and 6aN

4170

4170

0%

Herring

Clupea

6a (S), 7b, 7c

1630

1630

0%

Lemon sole and witch

Microstomus kitt and Glyptocephalus cynoglossus

Union waters of 2a and 4

6391

6391

0%

Ling

Molva molva

4 (EU)

3494

3494

0%

Ling

Molva molva

Union and int. waters of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14

20396

20396

0%

Norway lobster

Nephrops

8c

0

0

0%

Picked dogfish

Squalus

Union and international waters of 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12 and 14

270

270

0%

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

7

12146

12141

0%

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

8abde

1482

1482

0%

Whiting

Merlangius

8

2540

2540

0%

 

Table 3: Stocks with proposals for decreased TAC*

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

Final TAC in 2017, incl top-up

TAC 2018 (Proposal, excl top-up)

TAC change: 2017 - 2018 (Proposal)

Anglerfish

Lophius

7

33516

29534

-12%

Anglerfish

Lophius

8abde

8980

7914

-12%

Anglerfish

Lophius

8c, 9, 10, CECAF 34.1.1

3955

3879

-2%

Blue ling

Molva dypterigia

Union and int. waters of 5b, 6, 7

11314

10763

-5%

Blue ling

Molva dypterigia

Int. waters of 12

357

286

-20%

Boarfish

Caproidae

Union and international waters of 6, 7 and 8

27288

20380

-25%

Common sole

Solea solea

Union waters of 2a and 4

16123

14027

-13%

Common sole

Solea solea

3a; Union waters of Subdivisions 22-32

551

436

-21%

Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

Union and international waters of 6b, 12 and 14

4690

4202

-10%

Hake (overall N. TAC)

Merluccius

Overall northern TACs (3a / 2a and 4 / 5b, 6, 7, 12 and 14 / 8abde)

119765

104060

-13%

Hake

Merluccius

8c, 9 and 10; Union waters of CECAF 34.1.1

10520

7366

-30%

Herring

Clupea

7ghjk

14467

5445

-62%

Horse Mackerel

Trachurus

Union waters of 4b, 4c and 7d

18247

15179

-17%

Horse Mackerel

Trachurus

9

73349

55555

-24%

Megrims

Lepidorhombus

Union waters of 2a and 4

2639

2526

-4%

Megrims

Lepidorhombus

8abde

1352

1218

-10%

Megrims

Lepidorhombus

Union and international waters of 5b; 6;

5682

4691

-17%

Megrims

Lepidorhombus

7

13691

12310

-10%

Norway lobster

Nephrops

3a; Union waters of Subdivisions 22-32

12715

11738

-8%

Plaice

Pleuronectes

7hjk

128

0

-100%

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

Kattegat

2343

1467

-37%

Sprat

Sprattus

7de

4120

3296

-20%

Whiting

Merlangius

6; Union and international waters of 5b; international waters of 12 and 14

213

0

-100%

 

Table 4: Stocks subject to late advice or ongoing negotiations[2]*

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

final TAC in 2017

Anchovy

Engraulis

8

33000

Anchovy*

Engraulis

9 and 10; Union waters of CECAF 34.1.1

12500

Anglerfish

Lophiidae

Union waters of 2a and 4

13521

Anglerfish

Lophius

6; Union and international waters of 5b; international waters of 12 and 14

7650

Blue ling

Molva dypterigia

Union and int. waters of 5b, 6, 7

11314

Cod

Gadus morhua

7b, 7c, 7e-k, 8, 9 and 10; Union waters of CECAF

2830

Haddock

Melanogrammus

5b,6a

3697

Haddock

Melanogrammus

7b-k, 8, 9 and 10; Union waters of CECAF 34.1.1

7751

Norway lobster

Nephrops

6; Union and international waters of 5b

16407

Norway lobster

Nephrops

7

25356

Norway lobster

Nephrops

7 - Porcupine Bank special condition

3100

Norway lobster

Nephrops

8abde

4160

Norway lobster

Nephrops

9 and 10; Union waters of CECAF 34.1.1

336

Norway pout

Trisopterus esmarki

3a, Union waters of 2a and 4

176250

Picked dogfish

Squalus

Union and international waters of 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12 and 14

270

Sandeel

Ammodytes

Union waters of 2a, 3a and 4

486.115

Skates and rays

Rajidae

Union waters of 2a and 4

1378

Skates and rays

Rajidae

Union waters of 3a

47

Skates and rays

Rajidae

Union waters of 6ab, 7a-c and 7e-k

8434

Skates and rays

Rajidae

Union waters of 8 and 9

3762

Skates and rays

Rajidae

7d

1063

Sprat

Sprattus sprattus

Union waters of 2a and 4

176411

Turbot and Brill

Psetta maxima & Scopthalmus rhombus

Union waters of 2a and 4

4937

Whiting*

Merlangius

7a

80

Whiting

Merlangius

7b-k

27500

 

Table 5: Stocks for which the TAC is delegated to an individual member state

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

Delegated to

Herring

Clupea

VI Clyde(1)

United Kingdom

Horse Mackerel

Trachurus

CECAF(Canaries)

Spain

Horse Mackerel

Trachurus

CECAF(Madeira)

Portugal

Horse Mackerel

Trachurus

X,CECAF(Azores)

Portugal

Penaeus shrimps

Penaeus

French Guyana

France

 

[1]This table [Table 2] does not include the 20 stocks included in the Joint Statement by the Council and the Commission "Ad statement stable stocks" (see Council document PECHE 491, 15502/15 REV1).

[2]Final TAC figures for 2017 are including transfers, and reflect the total TAC set by the EU for a certain stock

*Amended on 09/11/2017: The Commission's proposal does not include Total Allowable Catches for Anchovy (TAC Unit: 9 and 10; Union waters of CECAF 34.1.1) and Whiting (TAC Unit: area 7a) at this stage. Tables have been adjusted to move the 2 stocks concerned from 'Table 3: Stocks with proposals for decreased TAC' to 'Table 4: Stocks subject to late advice or ongoing negotiations'.

IP/17/4284

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