The European Association of Fish Producer Organisations (EAPO) has called on EU member state Ministers to decide on TACS and quotas for 2020 taking a balanced approach to both the environmental and socio-economic objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
In preparation of the December Fisheries Council EAPO has sent a position paper with relevant recommendations for about 40 stocks to the Council Members, the European Commission and the regional fisheries management bodies. The paper also contains constructive observations about pursuing the CPF objectives and the Commission’s approach to setting fishing opportunities.
Specific attention is given to the difficulty in combining the Maximum Sustainable Yield objective with the Landing Obligation. EAPO sees sufficient elements to set TACs and quota at levels taking into account long term ecologic sustainability as enabling fishers to achieve economic, social and employment benefits, and contribute to the food supply.
Pim Visser, President of EAPO, says: “We specifically address the management of stocks for which scientific advice is far from positive. Unfortunately, this is the case for the cod stocks in the North Sea, the Celtic Sea and West of Scotland, where a lot of our membership’s mixed fisheries activities are taking place. Because of this mixed character of the fisheries, we suggest a gradual and adaptive approach to management measures to reach the sustainability objectives.”
With only one week before the start of the December Agrifish council, the representative organisation says that for many stocks more information is required before a quantified proposal can be provided to the ministers. And with the December Council Position Paper EAPO aims to contribute to the ministers having all the necessary data to agree the Council Regulation for fishing opportunities in 2020.
Image: Niall Duffy