May 13, 2009

European Fishing Quotas Reduced For 2010

Current fishing quotas threaten the sustainability of fish stocks, warranting the need for sizeable cuts next year to more moderate levels, the European Commission proposed on Tuesday. 

According to AFP, EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg advocated allowable catch reductions of "at least 25 percent" for the species most at risk, yet the commission's own scientific committee suggests fishing be terminated altogether. 

"Slow progress has been made in stock recovery since the 2002 reform" of the EU's fisheries policy, Borg said in a statement.

"One of the reasons for this is that fishing opportunities consistently have been set at levels which were too high for the fish stocks to sustain," he said.

Because of this, greater than 80 percent of EU fish supplies are now overfished, while global average is just 28 percent. 

However, for species whose stocks are not vulnerable, the commission is considering "a more flexible approach," with quota reductions not to exceed 20 percent.

Replenished stocks could call for quotas to be raised by 25 percent. 

Total Allowable Catches (TACs) are set each year for the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and the Northeast Atlantic including the North Sea, and every two years for deep sea species. 

Mediterranean fisheries are not managed by catch limits, with the exception of bluefin tuna. 

The 27 EU member states, the fishing community and environmentalists expect to conclude negotiations by the end of the year so that the agreed conditions will be in effect by next year's fishing season. 


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