EU report – progress has stalled on fish stock recovery

Published on April 27, 2018

The Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) has published its report: Monitoring the performance of the Common Fisheries Policy.

They provide an overview of trends in biomass and fishing mortality of stocks across the EU and measure the implementation of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) fisheries management.

Since 2003 the EU has reduced overall fishing mortality resulting in increased biomass for many stocks. However, these positive trends have now reversed and a higher percentage of stocks are overfished than in 2013.

In the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, close to 90% of stocks are classified as overfished. The EU deadline for managing fisheries sustainably is 2020 and it is now an uphill struggle for all stocks to reach the target.

The report shows that those fisheries which reduced fishing mortality earlier to sustainable levels have recovered faster. The North Sea in particular has seen large rises in stock biomass.

The STECF has been established by the European Commission and gathers scientists from across Europe. It produces a wide range of reports on fisheries related issues.