Last night, after long hours of discussion in Luxembourg, EU Fisheries Ministers reached an agreement on fishing opportunities for 2018 for the ten stocks in the Baltic Sea. The total allowable catches (TACs) were unanimously agreed in the framework of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which aims to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels by 2020. For this purpose, Ministers’ decision will allow 7 out of 8 stocks for which complete scientific advice was available to be fished at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels, representing 98% of fish landings in volume. However, in view of the huge progress in the sustainable management of the Baltic Sea, fishermen expected better quota allocations for 2019.
The European Commission proposed yesterday a new set of rules meant to revise the Union Fisheries Control System. Europêche, the representative body for fishermen and fishing vessel owners in the EU, agrees on the need to modernise and simplify the control and enforcement measures adopted back in 2009 as well as to ensure full compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). However, the European Commission (EC) pursues these objectives at the expense of the sector which will have to face extraordinary bureaucratic and economic burdens.