Last year the EU adopted a Multiannual Management Plan (MAP) of demersal fisheries in the Western Mediterranean that regulates the fleets, mainly trawlers, from Italy, France and Spain. Back then, the sector criticised the introduction of severe spatial-seasonal trawl closures and the harsh reduction of the activity at sea from the first year of implementation of the new rules. The fishing industry strictly complied with these measures even though undermined the viability of the Mediterranean fleets. Fishermen, now facing the consequences of the COVID-19, fear further cuts which would lead to a considerable decline in the number of fishing vessels, jobs and fish supply.
The European Commission (EC) has launched its annual consultation on setting fishing opportunities for 2018. As a novelty, this year it is being accompanied by a Communication which, besides setting the traditional principles underpinning the EC 's proposal for Atlantic and North Sea fish quotas (TACs) in 2018, it gives an overview on the progress made towards the achievement of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) objectives. Europêche is very pleased with this new approach since it provides European citizens with objective information in a digestible manner. The sector also welcomes the upward trends in many fish stocks and sustainable exploitation levels across Europe as revealed by the latest scientific data .