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Half of 2013 Fishing Opportunities Above Scientific Recommendations

31 December 2012

EU - After an intense two-day negotiation process, EU fisheries ministers reached an agreement on 2013 catch limits for the main commercial species in the North East Atlantic.

Oceana in a preliminary assessment of fisheries minister’s agreement describes the decisions adopted as contradictory and regrets another missed opportunity to end the overexploitation of European fishery resources.

“Now more than ever, decision makers have the tools they need to responsibly manage the stocks, but unfortunately it seems that they do not want to use them,” stated Xavier Pastor, Executive Director at Oceana in Europe. “Although we are moving in the right direction in many cases greater effort is needed to end overfishing. By ignoring 48 per cent of the scientific advice, the quotas can hardly ensure sustainability nor can they guarantee reaching the MSY objective.”

Thanks to alternative assessment methods used for data-poor stocks, for first time in years the Council received scientific advice for most of the stocks managed through catch limits. The number of stocks without scientific advice declined from 61 per cent last year to 15 per cent. While the decisions showed an increase in the number of stocks that will be harvested at Maximum Sustainable Yield levels, regrettably, a high percentage of stocks will be exploited against advice and thus against the precautionary approach.

TheFishSite News Desk

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