EU fisheries ministers have agreed on how much fish can be caught in 2012.
In 79 per cent of the stocks that are within EU waters (i.e. not including the non-EU waters), the Council increased the total allowable catch (TAC) compared to the European Commission’s proposal. Note, however, that we have not compared the outcome with ICES advice, which may differ from the Commission’s proposal.
The Council meeting went on until around 3am Saturday morning. At a press conference after the meeting, Commissioner Maria Damanaki said: “We were successful in keeping the long term management plans and we have agreed in the way to implement them in good cooperation, and to increase the selectivity of our gears in order to avoid discarding.”
The Commissioner was possibly referring to the situation with cod in the North Sea, where the UK had been pushing to increase the fishing effort beyond the limits of the management plan. In the end, a member state official reported, the Council decided not to abandon the cod management plan.
Damanaki said: “We have taken better care this year of the stocks where we don’t have clear scientific advice. This year we have discussed these stocks case by case and we have agreed on a better effort in order to have a delivery of data” in order to have fewer stocks without data next year.