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A political agreement had been reached on these regulations at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in December 2012. One of the regulations concerns fish stocks which are not subject to international negotiations or agreements, whilst the other concerns stocks subject to international negotiations or agreements.
These regulations establish the total allowable catches (TACs) and member states' fishing quotas for 2013 in the areas covered by the regulations. Each year, on the basis of a Commission proposal, the Council has to take a decision on fishing opportunities for the stocks in the Atlantic, the North Sea and international fisheries in which EU vessels participate. These are the main fishing opportunities regulations in terms of the number of regulated stocks. Along with the regulations fixing the fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the deep sea stocks (the latter every two years), these regulations regulate the harvesting of the stocks to levels which must be consistent with the overall objectives of the common fisheries policy (CFP). In that respect, regulation 2371/20021 sets out the objectives of the fisheries policy, which are taken into account when setting the annual catch and fishing effort limitations, to ensure that EU fisheries are ecologically, economically and socially sustainable.
The regulations take into account available scientific advice and, in particular, the reports drawn up by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF).
According to article 43(3) of the Lisbon Treaty it is incumbent upon the Council to adopt the measures on the fixing and allocation of fishing opportunities in the framework of the common fisheries policy. The European Parliament's participation and the Economic and Social Committee's opinion are therefore not required for this regulation.