EU - The EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council will take place in Luxembourg today (16 June 2015), with 2016 fishing opportunities, the European Fisheries Fund and the Russian sanctions on EU fish, on the agenda.
The Commission will be represented by Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella and Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis.
Fishing opportunities for 2016
Ministers will hold an exchange of views on the Commission's communication on EU fisheries which has been tabled earlier this month in the run up to the process of setting fishing opportunities for 2016.
The main messages are that in the last few years the EU has managed its fisheries more sustainably and thus achieved a better state for a large number of its fish stocks.
There are also indications that where overfishing still exists, the rate of overfishing has significantly decreased.
Overfishing is still predominant in the Mediterranean however, where improvements have been slower.
For 2016, the European Commission will propose Total Allowable Catches (TACs) with a view to achieving Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) in the same year – that is, to fish stocks at an optimal level that allows them to regenerate.
For other stocks where there is no MSY indicator, the TACs proposed will be in line with available scientific advice, as provided by ICES.
In other cases, where there are data-poor stocks without quantitative advice, the precautionary approach will be applied.
European Fisheries Fund
Ministers will also discuss a request by Greece to extend for 6 months the eligibility period of expenditure for the Operational Programme Fisheries 2007-2013 (to expire on 31 July 2015).
Russian ban on fisheries products from EU member states
Russia has imposed a ban on Latvian and Estonian fish and fish product imports for sanitary reasons, as of 4 June 2015. The Commission will present a set of measures and instruments that can be mobilised to support the Member States and industry affected by this decision.
TheFishSite News Desk