In preparation of the December Fisheries Council EAPO has sent a position paper with relevant recommendations for about 44 stocks to the Council Members, and the European Commission.
The paper also contains specific suggestions on the Brexit contingency plan and considerations on the COVID-19 crisis. Like last year, constructive reflections are included on the scientific advices, the Common Fisheries Policy, and the management objectives. Specific attention is given to mixed fisheries and the difficulty in combining the Maximum Sustainable Yield objective with the Landing Obligation. EAPO makes recommendations of elements allowing to set TACs and quotas at levels that enable fishing activities to achieve economic, social and employment benefits, and to contribute to the food supply, whilst also taking into account long term environmental sustainability.
Pim Visser, President of EAPO, says: “This year has been a complicated one for EU fisheries. In the absence of TAC proposal from the Commission for a number of stocks, we base our comments on the scientific advices. We specifically address the management of stocks for which the advice is far from positive. Fishing opportunities need to be set in relation with the true developments of stocks and balanced solutions have to be found when there are persistent problems.”
The very special setting of the December Agrifish Council this year creates huge uncertainties for the EU fish producers. The Brexit situation should not prevent fishing to continue on the first of January 2021 and with the December Council Position Paper EAPO aims to contribute positively with input to the Ministers, so that they have all the necessary data to agree the Council Regulation for fishing opportunities in 2021.