Other available languages: none
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Consultation on Fishing Opportunities for 2012
Press Conference, BERL Press Room
Brussels, 25 May 2011
Every year the European Commission sets out before the summer the so-called policy statement on fishing opportunities for the next year. Today we are setting out our ideas for 2012.
So, the same procedure as every year?
This year will have two major differences. First we will have a simpler and clearer methodology linking decisions even closer to scientific advice. We are moving towards maximum sustainable yield quotas.
And second where there is no advice available we should be careful. So I call on Member States to collectively improve our data.
Why we need these changes?
First of all, we have to phase out overfishing. This means managing stocks so, that they can rebuild and provide the highest long-term average catches. This is the "maximum sustainable yield" objective. The Member States already decided that it should be reached in 2015.
We have made some progress towards this objective. Mainl in Atlantic and Northern regions, less in Mediterranean. But progress is too slow. I really want to see us reach the objectives we have set.
The scientific institutions can give us clearer advice. I believe we should set the quotas accordingly. Where Member States have not provided the right information for scientists to do their work, we don't have a lot of choices:
What will be the impact of this effort for the people and the environment?
I am setting out these ideas for a wide consultation. We invite European citizens to give their opinions through Commission's website1, or through other channels.
We will be consulting the industry and Fisheries Ministers of Member States at the Council on 28th June.
Thank you for your attention.