Alfonsino. (Photo: P. Lameiro/CC BY-SA 3.0)
EC proposes TAC reduction for North-East Atlantic deep-sea species
Tuesday, October 09, 2018, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
The European Commission (EC) proposes lower total allowable capture (TAC) for several stocks of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic for 2019 and 2020 in order to help these resources recover sustainable levels.
Given that the majority of deep-sea species are highly vulnerable and take a long time to mature, the Commission's proposal is based on precautionary scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), and takes into account the obligation for fishermen to bring to land all catches as of January 1, 2019.
"Our proposal invites Member States to apply a precautionary approach to reverse the worrying situation of declining deep-sea fish stocks", said Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
"It is in our shared interest to ensure that we have healthy fish stocks in deep-sea waters, for the sake of our fishermen and coastal communities, their livelihoods and for our marine ecosystems. Evidence also shows that sustainable fish stocks go hand in hand with a thriving industry," Vella stressed.
The proposal reduces the catch limits in seven fish management areas compared to 2017-2018 levels, including for alfonsinos and black scabbardfish. Fishing for orange roughy will remain prohibited.
At the same time, positive scientific advice concerning red seabream around the Azores and roundnose grenadier in South Western waters, has allowed the Commission to propose increased quotas for these species over the next two years.
The Commission also proposes to cancel the TAC management system for three species (greater forkbeard in the North-East Atlantic, roundnose grenadier in the North Sea and black scabbardfish in the North Sea and Skagerrak), as they are fished in small quantity which does not prevent them from reproducing.
The Commission stated that the scientific recommendations for deep-sea sharks were issued on October 5th and announced it will complete the current proposal in view of its adoption by EU Member States in the Council, currently scheduled for November 19-20.