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European Commission - Press release

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019

Brussels, 7 November 2018

Today the Commission presents its proposal ahead of the December Fisheries Council where Member States should agree next year's fishing quotas.

The European Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and the North Sea for 89 stocks: for 62 stocks the fishing quota is either increased or remains the same, for 22 stocks is reduced and for 5 the Commission proposes new by-catch quotas at low level to reduce the fishing pressure.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 Norway lobster in Skagerrak/Kattegat, Northern hake and Southern horse mackerel – so is the profitability of the fishing sector, with an estimated EUR 1.4 billion profit for 2018.

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "Next year will be a milestone year for European fisheries. Our collective duty is to ensure a good transition to the full landing obligation as of 1st January 2019 while continuing our progress to achieve sustainable fishing by 2020. With this proposal, the Commission puts forward concrete solutions to advance on both fronts."

In order to put an end to the wasteful practice of discarding fish, as of 1st January 2019, the landing obligation will apply fully to all EU fishing fleets. This means that all catches of regulated commercial species taken on-board (including by-catch) are to be landed and counted against each Member States' respective quotas. In today's proposal the Commission has already deducted the amounts corresponding to the agreed exemptions to the landing obligation from the advised catches.

Substantial progress can be observed in the EU with regards to sustainable fishing: 53 stocks are now fishedat Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels compared to only 5 in 2009 and 44 in 2017. This means that the fishing pressure on the stock is limited to a level that will allow a healthy future for the fish stock's biomass, while taking into account socioeconomic factors. The Commission is working with Member States to support the fishermen in reaching the objective of having all stocks fished at sustainable levels by 2020, as set by the Common Fisheries Policy.

Today's proposal will be submitted for discussion and decision by the Member States at the December Fisheries Council on 17-18 December in Brussels, to be applied as of 1 January 2019.

Details of the proposal

The Commission bases its proposal on scientific advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), with a view to achieving sustainable management of fish stocks while sustaining profitable livelihoods for fishermen.

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.

  • Proposed increases: For 27 stocks such as Norway lobster and plaice in Skagerrak/Kattegat, the Northern hake stock, Western and Southern horse mackerel, cod, sole and plaice in the Irish Sea, and sole and megrim in the Bay of Biscay, the Commission proposes to increase the Total Allowable Catch.
  • Proposed stocks to be fished at 2018 levels: 35 stocks are kept at the same level as last year.
  • Proposed decreases: Decreases are proposed for 22 stocks, of which 12 see a decrease of less than 20%.For 5 of the stocks, namely cod in the West of Scotland and cod in the Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay/Iberian Waters, whiting in the West of Scotland and in the Irish Sea, and plaice in the southern Celtic Sea and southwest of Ireland, scientists have advised setting a zero quota (Total Allowable Catch) in 2019. The Commission is thus proposing to no longer allow targeting these stocks.
  • Proposed new by-catch levels: For 5 stocks captured incidentally, a by-catch quota is proposed at low level to reduce the fishing pressure, subject to a number of conditions, including full catch documentation (see table 4). These stocks are caught in mixed whitefish fisheries.
  • For northern seabass: the Commission is proposing a set of measures, expressed in catch limits (not TACs), following the latest scientific advice. Those measures would allow higher catches for hooks and lines fishery with 7 tonnes/vessel (compared to 5 tonnes/vessel in 2018) and a "bag limit" for recreational fisheries of 1 fish/day for 7 months, increasing from only three months in 2018.

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 2019.

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. All TAC values are expressed in tonnes.

Final TAC figures for 2018 reflect the total TAC set by the EU for a certain stock, after transfers to third countries where applicable.

Table 1: Stocks with proposals for increased Total Allowable Catch (TAC)

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

Final TAC in 2018

TAC 2019 (Proposal)

TAC change: 2018 - 2019 (Proposal)

Anglerfish

Lophiidae

8c, 9, 10, CECAF 34.1.1

3 955

4 023

+2%

Blue ling

Molva dypterygia

Union and int. waters 5b, 6, 7

10 463

11 778

+13%

Boarfish

Caproidae

6, 7, 8

20 380

21 830

+7 %

Cod

Gadus morhua

7a

695

807

+16%

Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

6b, 12 and 14

5 163

10 469

+103%

Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

7a

3 207

3 739

 

+17%

Hake

Merluccius merluccius

3a

3 136

 

4 286

 

+37%

Hake

Merluccius merluccius

2a and 4

3 653

4 994

+37%

Hake

Merluccius merluccius

5b, 6, 7, 12 and 14

62 536

79 762

+28%

Hake

Merluccius merluccius

8abde

42 460

 

52 118

+23%

Horse mackerel

Trachurus

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

99 470

 

119 118

 

+20%

Horse mackerel

Trachurus

8c

16 000

18 858

+18%

Horse mackerel

Trachurus

9

55 555

 

94 017

 

+69%

Lemon sole and witch

Microstomus kitt & Glyptocephalus cynoglossus

Union waters of 2a, 4

6 391

7 874

+23%

Megrim

Lepidorhombus

Union waters of the North Sea

2 526

2 887

+14%

Megrim

Lepidorhombus

7

12 310

18 132

+47%

Megrim

Lepidorhombus

8abde

1 218

1 704

+40%

Megrim

Lepidorhombus

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

1 387

1 872

+35%

Norway lobster

Nephrops

3a

11 738

19 424

+65%

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

3aS (Kattegat)

1 483

2 941

+98%

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

7a

1 793

3 075

+72%

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

7fg

511

1 608

+215%

Sole

Solea

3a

448

502

+12%

Sole

Solea

7a

40 t

414

+935%

Sole

Solea

7e

1 202

1 242

+3%

Sole

Solea

8ab

3 621

3 823

+6%

Turbot & brill

Psetta maxima & Scophthalmus rhombus

2a and 4

7 102

8 122

+14%

Table 2: Stocks with no changes in Total Allowable Catch (TAC)

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

Final TAC in 2018

TAC 2019 (Proposal)

TAC change: 2018 - 2019 (Proposal)

Blue ling

Molva dypterygia

2a, 4

53

53

0%

Blue ling

Molva dypterygia

3a

8

8

0%

Cod

Gadus morhua

6b Rockall

74

74

0%

Greater silver smelt

Argentina silus

1, 2

90

90

0%

Greater silver smelt

Argentina silus

3a, 4

1 234

1 234

0%

Greater silver smelt

Argentina silus

Union and int. waters of 5, 6, 7

4 661

4 661

0%

Greenland halibut

Reinhardtius hippoglossoides

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

2 500

2 500

0%

Herring

Clupea harengus

6a (S), 7b, 7c

1 630

1 630

0%

Herring

Clupea harengus

Union and int. waters of 5b, 6b, 6a (N)

4 170

4 170

0%

Herring

Clupea harengus

7ef

930

930

0%

Horse mackerel

Trachurus

4b, 4c, 7d

15 179

15 179

0%

Ling

Molva molva

Union and int. waters of 1 and 2

36

36

0%

Ling

Molva molva

3a

87

87

0%

Ling

Molva molva

Union and int. waters of 5

33

33

0%

Ling

Molva molva

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

20 396

 

20 396

 

0%

Norway lobster

Nephrops

8c

2

2

0%

Picked dogfish

Squalus acanthias

1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12 and 14

270

270

0%

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

5, 6, 12, 14

658

658

0%

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

7bc

74

74

0%

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

8, 9, 10 CECAF 34.1.1

395

395

0%

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

5b, 6, 12, 14

397

397

0%

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

7 Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, English channel

12 163

12 163

0%

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

8abde

1 482

1 482

0%

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

8c

231

231

0%

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

9, 10, CECAF 34.1.1

282

282

0%

Saithe

Pollachius virens

7, 8, 9, 10, CECAF 34.1.1

3 176

3 176

0%

Sole

Solea

6

57

57

0%

Sole

Solea

7bc

42

42

0%

Sole

Solea

7hjk

382

382

0%

Sole

Solea

8cde, 9 , 10, CECAF 34.1.1

1072

1072

0%

Tusk

Brosme brosme

Union and int. waters 1, 2, 14

21

21

0%

Tusk

Brosme brosme

3a Kattegat, Skagerrak

31

31

0%

Tusk

Brosme brosme

Union waters of 4

251

251

0%

Tusk

Brosme brosme

Union and int. waters 5, 6, 7

4 130

4 130

0%

Whiting

Merlangius merlangus

8

2 540

2 540

0%

Table 3: Stocks with proposals for decreased Total Allowable Catch (TAC)

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

Final TAC in 2018

TAC 2019 (Proposal)

TAC change: 2018 - 2019 (Proposal)

Anglerfish

Lophiidae

7

33 516

32 999

-2%

Anglerfish

Lophiidae

8abde

8 980

 

8 371

-7%

Blue ling

Molva dypterygia

Int. waters of 12

286

229

-20%

Cod

Gadus morhua

3aS (Kattegat)

630

476

-24%

Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

7b-k, 8, 9, 10

6 910

5 937

-14%

Hake

Merluccius merluccius

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

9 258

7 963

-14%

Herring

Clupea harengus

7a Irish Sea

7 016

6 896

-2%

Herring

Clupea harengus

7ghjk Celtic Sea, South West Ireland

10 127

4 742

-53%

Ling

Molva molva

Union waters of 4

3 843

3 738

-3%

Megrim

Lepidorhombus

Union and int. waters of 5b, 6, 12, 14

5 432

5 363

-1%

Norway lobster

Nephrops

2a and 4

24 518

22 854

-7%

Norway lobster

Nephrops

9, 10

381

281

-26%

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

7de

10 360

10 116

-2%

Sole

Solea

2a and 4

15 684

12 247

-22%

Sole

Solea

7d

3 405

2 508

-26%

Sole

Solea

7fg Bristol Channel

920

841

-9%

Sprat

Sprattus sprattus

7de

3 296

2 637

-20%

Cod

Gadus morhua

6a, Union and international waters of 5b

 

0

-100%

Cod

Gadus morhua

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

 

0

-100%

Whiting

Merlangius merlangius

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

 

0

-100%

Whiting

Merlangius merlangius

7a

 

0

-100%

Plaice

 

Pleuronectes platessa

 

7h, 7j and 7k

 

0

-100%

Table 4: Stocks for which a by-catch Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is proposed

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

Bycatch TAC 2019

Proposal (t)

Cod

Gadus morhua

6a, Union and international waters of 5b

1396

Cod

Gadus morhua

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

pm

Whiting

Merlangius merlangius

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

1238

Whiting

Merlangius merlangius

7a

612

Plaice

 

Pleuronectes platessa

 

7h, 7j and 7k

90

Table 5: Stocks subject to pending advice or ongoing negotiations

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

Final TAC in 2018

Anchovy

Engraulis

8

33000

Anglerfish

Lophiidae

Union waters of 2a and 4

16225

Anglerfish

Lophiidae

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

9180

Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

5b, 6a

4654

Norway lobster

Nephrops

6; Union and international waters of 5b

12129

Norway lobster

Nephrops

7

29091

Norway lobster

Nephrops

8abde

3614

Northern Prawn

Pandalus borealis

Union waters of 2a and 4

1957

Skates and rays

Rajiformes

Union waters of 2a and 4

1654

Skates and rays

Rajiformes

Union waters of 3a

47

Skates and rays

Rajiformes

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

9699

Skates and rays

Rajiformes

Union waters of 8 and 9

4326

Skates and rays

Rajiformes

7d

1276

Whiting

Merlangius merlangus

7b-k

22213

Undulate Ray

Raja undulata

7d, 7e

180

Table 6: Stocks for which the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is delegated to an individual Member State

Common name

Scientific name

TAC Unit

Delegated to

Herring

Clupea

6 Clyde

United Kingdom

Horse Mackerel

Trachurus

Union waters of CECAF (Canaries)

Spain

Horse Mackerel

Trachurus

Union waters of CECAF (Madeira)

Portugal

Horse Mackerel

Trachurus

10, Union waters of CECAF (Azores)

Portugal

Penaeus shrimps

Penaeus

French Guyana

France

IP/18/6301

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