2020 fishing opportunities in the Atlantic, North & the Mediterranean Seas: Council secures agreement
The Agriculture and Fisheries Council reached today a political agreement on a regulation concerning the 2020 catch limits for the main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic, the North Sea and international fisheries in which EU vessels participate.
Jari Leppä, Minister for Agriculture and Forestry of Finland and President of the Council yesterday said:
The quota-setting exercise is never easy and this year it took us several hours of negotiations to get to an agreement. But I am glad to announce that it is a balanced one that reconciles all the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy – environmental and socio-economic sustainability – to the benefit of the fish stocks, fishing sector and the EU citizens at large.
With today's agreement the Council restated its strong commitment to the objective of the CFP - environmental, economic and social sustainability - the provisions of the multiannual management plans currently in force, and the best available scientific advice.
In light of the difficulties faced by EU fishermen in relation to mixed fisheries in certain areas and the risk of choke species, the Council decided to continue for one year the previously agreed pool mechanism for quota exchanges. Choke species are those that have a low quota that, when exhausted, can cause a vessel to stop fishing even if it still has quota for other species.
In order to address the difficult situation of cod and whiting stocks in the Celtic Sea and cod in Kattegat, the Council decided to introduce remedial measures with the aim of improving the selectivity of fishing gears and reducing bycatches.
Concerning seabass, it was decided to slightly increase the by-catch levels in the Northern areas and grant additional flexibility in their management. The bag limit for seabass recreational fisheries was set to two specimen per fisherman per day under certain conditions, and only from 1 March to 30 November 2020 for Northern seabass.
The Council agreement largely confirmed the initial Commission proposal, which established fishing opportunities in the form of yearly total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas by fish stocks in the different fishing zones. TACs and quotas concern stocks that the EU manages either autonomously or jointly with third countries, for instance with Norway in the North Sea and the Skagerrak, or through agreements reached in the framework of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs).
Based on the scientific advice provided by the International council for the exploration of the sea (ICES), the Commission had proposed for 2020 to:
- increase or keep current catch limits for 32 stocks,
- reduce it for 40 stocks.
One of the main objectives of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to ensure high long-term fishing yields (maximum sustainable yield) by 2020 at the latest. In December 2018, 59 stocks were already fished at MSY levels.
Together with MSY, another milestone of the reformed CFP is to reduce unwanted catches through the landing obligation (i.e. the prohibition to discard certain stocks at sea) which entered into full application as from 1 January 2019 for all stocks under catch limits.
The setting of TACs and quotas is an annual management exercise decided upon by the Council in accordance with Article 43(3) of the TFEU.
This item will be included, following finalisation by the legal/linguistic experts, in part "A" of the agenda for adoption by a forthcoming Council meeting.
- +32 2 281 21 46
- +32 470 88 04 02
Latest News from
ESMA Publishes Final Report For Guidelines on Internal Control30/09/2020 16:33:00
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, yesterday published the Final Report for its Guidelines on Internal Control for Credit Rating Agencies.
Education must not fall victim to COVID-1930/09/2020 15:25:00
Last week, I took part with my colleague Vice-President Dubravka Šuica in an event organised jointly with UNICEF.
Joint Leaders' Statement at the United Nations Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Gender Based Violence30/09/2020 13:25:00
We the co-leaders of the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Gender Based Violence.
Council finalises its position on the Horizon Europe package30/09/2020 12:48:00
The Council yesterday finalised its position on the proposed regulation establishing Horizon Europe, the EU framework programme for research and innovation for the years 2021 to 2027 (Horizon Europe regulation) and on the proposed decision on the specific programme implementing Horizon Europe (specific programme decision).
Increasing the EU’s 2030 emissions reduction target is necessary and feasible30/09/2020 11:33:00
Environment Committee MEPs quizzed Executive Vice-President Timmermans on the new 2030 Climate Target Plan, demanding early action to reach carbon neutrality.
New Migration Pact proposal gets mixed reactions from MEPs30/09/2020 09:25:00
Civil liberties committee members questioned how the new Asylum and Migration Pact proposed by the European Commission would function during a debate on 24 September.
EU and Georgia sign Financing Agreements for COVID-19 Recovery worth €129 million29/09/2020 17:05:00
Today, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia, signed two financing agreements worth €129 million to assist Georgia in coping with the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the country's economy.
MEPs spell out their priorities for the Digital Services Act29/09/2020 16:33:00
MEPs’ demands on how digital services, including online platforms and marketplaces, should be regulated were set out in a vote in the Internal Market Committee on Monday.
Press statement by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič following the third meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee29/09/2020 15:25:00
Press statement given yesterday by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič following the third meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee.
The EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights: Joint statement on behalf of the Council of Europe and the European Commission29/09/2020 13:25:00
The European Commission's Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, and the Secretary General of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, yesterday issued a statement concerning the resumption of negotiations on the European Union's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.