Brussels - Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat have released their latest briefing on the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy in advance of next week’s Agrifish Council, with recommendations on fishing opportunities in 2017.
The briefing outlines some key considerations for the meeting of the Agrifish Council as they consider a Commission communication on fishing opportunities next year. This communication contained references to the need for ‘well-substantiated circumstances’ when it came to delaying implementing fishing at the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), but fails to precisely define these. This weakness could leave an avenue for member states to continue their failure to set quotas at a level that will ensure fish stocks to recover and stay healthy in the long term.
Our briefing addresses the need to set fishing levels in Multi-Annual management Plans (MAPs) in line with the CFP objective of the long term viability of the stocks, reminds member states to consult earlier with Advisory Councils, asks for the full implementation of the landing obligation, with, Total Allowable Catch top-ups granted only to those fisheries with a fishing mortality that ensures recovery of the fish stocks, and improved data and knowledge on its implementation.