Voices raised in Council suggests that the Commission might face difficulties getting support for quotas based on the precautionary approach.
At the Council meeting 28 June, fisheries ministers had an exchange of views on the Commission’s communication concerning fishing opportunities 2012.
The Commission’s proposal includes linking catch limits closer to the scientific advice on how to reach maximum sustainable yield (MSY), as well as reducing catches for fish stocks where there is not enough data to calculate MSY.
According to a Council press release, member states reacted negatively to the Commission’s proposal:
“Most of the member states stressed that the objective of maximum sustainable level (MSY) by 2015 should be assessed on a case by case basis. Furthermore, a majority of delegations expressed concerns about the Commission intention to apply a reduction of 25% of the TAC in the absence of scientific advice or when only poor information is available.”
“They highlighted that such a systematic reduction does not take into account the specificity of each stock and the socio-economic aspects. They would like to improve instead the availability of scientific advice.”
When Commissioner Maria Damanaki presented the proposal in May, she said her intention is that the new method of setting catch quotas will encourage Member States to collect better data on fish stocks.
Note: This proposal concerns the framework for negotiations on yearly fishing quotas, and is not to be confused with the upcoming proposal for CFP reform.
All European citizens can comment on the Commission’s proposal on fishing opportunities until 20 July.