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EU Fisheries Council to Meet in Luxembourg

22 October 2012

LUXEMBOURG - Commissioner Maria Damanaki will represent the Commission at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting, taking place in Luxemburg, 22-23 October 2012, under the presidency of Mr Sofoklis Aletraris, Cypriot Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. The Council will discuss the Commission Proposal on fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea for 2013, with a view to reaching an agreement.

The Fisheries points will be dealt with on Monday morning and again on Tuesday afternoon, and a press conference will be held at the end of Tuesday's discussions. The public debates and the press conferences can be followed by video streaming.

The overall aim of the Commission's proposal is to make fisheries in the Baltic Sea environmentally and economically sustainable by following scientific advice. Also, Ministers will attempt to reach a partial general approach on the Commission's proposal on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in a public debate, on the basis of the debate that took place at the September Council.

Fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea for 2013

This year's scientific advice indicates that the number of stocks managed at Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) level in the Baltic Sea might be increasing. The cuts in Total Allowable Catches (TACs) adopted in previous years proved effective and the number of stocks being fished at MSY level could go from three to six in 2013, if the proposed TACs are adopted.

The Commission proposed higher TACs for sprat, for the stocks of Central and Western herring and for plaice. It also proposed to reduce TACs of the remaining pelagic stocks to respond to the natural fluctuations of stocks and ensure MSY levels. The number of days at sea for fishing vessels were to remain the same as in previous years.

The proposals are based on scientific advice from ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) and STECF (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries).

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

The new Fund will help deliver the ambitious objectives of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and will help fishermen in the transition towards sustainable fishing, as well as coastal communities in the diversification of their economies. The fund will finance projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts. Red tape will be cut so that beneficiaries have easy access to financing. This fund will replace the existing European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and a number of other instruments.

The proposed envelope amounts to € 6.5 billion for the period 2014 to 2020. Commissioner Damanaki will focus on how the EMFF ensures the long-term environmental, economic and social sustainability of EU fisheries and the fishing communities that depend on these fisheries.

Other fisheries points

The Council will also exchange views with the Commission on the EU-Norway annual consultations for 2013 and on the upcoming annual meeting of ICCAT (the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas), to be held in Agadir, Morocco from 12-19 November.

TheFishSite News Desk



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