Last week the SARFISH briefing was distributed to EU fisheries decision makers, including some final recommendations for the possible agreement on the proposed European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) (COM(2011)804) and on the proposal for the 2013 fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea (COM(2013)548) has been sent to the EU Fisheries Ministers and their advisors.
Fisheries Attachés at the Permanent Representations to the EU were also targeted, where we presented our deliberations on the proposed fishing opportunities for certain deep sea stocks for 2013 and 2014 (COM(2012)579), which will be discussed in the coming weeks with a view to adoption at the November Council. We asked them to consider all our input in order to ensure more sustainable utilisation of our common marine resources.
Our detailed recommendations on the proposals can be read here. A short summary is presented below:
1. Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
We call on Ministers to oppose all proposals that allow aid for new builds, modernisation and/or engine replacement (Art 39(2)), decommissioning and temporary cessation (Art 13).
We call on Ministers to consider that these are public funds and that their use must be for the public good, underpinning the conservation and management efforts set out in the CFP. Member States should also be given the flexibility to spend more but not less EMFF funding on data collection, control and enforcement measures.
2. Proposal for a Council Regulation ‘fixing for 2013 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks applicable in the Baltic Sea
Regarding fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2013, FISH and SAR call on you to ensure that:
- the TAC for the Western Baltic cod stock follows the proposed transition towards MSY by 2015, resulting in a TAC of max 12 700 tonnes;
- the TAC for the Eastern Baltic cod stock remains in line with the management plan, resulting in a TAC of 61 565 tonnes – a 9 % reduction;
- the fishing limits for pelagic stocks are in line with MSY, as proposed by the Commission;
- the TAC for salmon in areas 22–31 is in line with the scientific advice and MSY management at 54 000 individual salmon.
3. Proposal for a Council Regulation fixing for 2013 and 2014 the fishing opportunities for EU vessels for certain deep-sea fish stocks
- It is crucial that the EU lives up to its international commitments and applies the precautionary approach when setting TACs for deep sea species, phasing out fisheries where sustainable exploitation cannot be ensured.
- There is an urgent need for measures that will minimise levels of bycatch in deep sea fisheries, particularly in bottom trawl fisheries, and the review of the access regime for deep sea fisheries provides a key opportunity to ensure their implementation.
- We further recommend the continuation of a zero TAC for both directed fisheries and bycatch of deep sea shark species, and a precautionary, more moderate increase in TACs for roundnose grenadier in areas V, VI and VII than the 77 % increase proposed by the Commission.