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Brussels, 16 October 2013
Preparation Agriculture and Fisheries Council, 17th October 2013
The Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of October will take place in Luxembourg on 17th October 2013. The meeting will focus solely on fisheries affairs and the Commission will be represented by Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki. A press conference will be held at the end of the discussions (available by video streaming at http://video.consilium.europa.eu).
Fishing Opportunities in the Baltic Sea
Political agreement will be sought on the Commission's proposal for fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2014 (IP/13/787). The proposals are based on scientific advice and aim to make fisheries in the Baltic Sea environmentally and economically sustainable in the short and long term. This is in line with the key principles of the recently agreed reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and the Communication concerning Fishing Opportunities published in May.
For 2014 the Commission proposes to increase TACs for eastern cod and stocks of herring in the Central Baltic and Gulf of Bothnia. Decreases for the remaining stocks either reflect the natural fluctuations within the MSY range or are linked to the improved perception of stocks’ status as a result of recent data revision. The Commission also proposes to reduce the number of days at sea for vessels fishing for cod in accordance with the Baltic cod management plan.
The proposed measures would result in an overall increase by 10 % up to 644 000 tones in fishing opportunities for Union vessels in the Baltic Sea for all species except salmon stocks.
EU/Norway: annual consultations for 2014
The Council will hold an exchange of views on the consultations on the fisheries arrangements between the EU and Norway for 2014. Ministers will be invited to comment on the approach to be taken by the Union on the jointly managed shared stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak, and particularly, on the balance between maximising yield on the one hand, and stability and predictability on the other. Ministers will also discuss how best to proceed with these consultations and which other stocks could be identified and used for the reciprocal exchange of quotas with Norway.
ICCAT Annual Meeting
The Council will exchange views ahead of the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, on 18-25th November 2013. The Commission will suggest that the EU should continue to follow the principles of the external dimension of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy at the annual meeting whilst seeking to apply these same principles at home and abroad. Within Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, such as ICCAT, this means better science, better compliance, and better governance in general.
Any other business
North-East Atlantic mackerel management and Coastal State negotiations.
Oliver Drewes (+32 2 299 24 21)
Lone Mikkelsen (+32 2 296 05 67)