On 11 November the European Commission released its proposals for total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas in 2011. The proposals concern fish stocks in the Atlantic, North Sea and International waters regulated by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs).
The Commission recommends quota increases for 6 stocks where there has been some improvement over the past year, such as sole and hake, quota decreases for 64 stocks, ranging from -10% to -50%, and an unchanged quota for 23 stocks.
Acknowledging that cod stocks have not recovered despite management plans in place since 2004, the Commission has proposed 50% reductions in TACs for cod in the Kattegat, the Irish Sea and the west of Scotland.
The Commission points out that although the quota proposals will be disappointing for parts of the fishing industry, the reductions are necessary since scientific advice once again underlines the poor state of EU fish resources. For some 72% of assessed stocks, overfishing is so serious that more fish would be caught if there was less fishing. Only some 40% of assessed stocks are known to be fished sustainably.
These proposals will be negotiated and agreed by EU Fisheries Ministers at the annual quota talks on 13 and 14 December.
Commission memo: European Commission’s proposal on fishing opportunities