Today, during the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, EU ministers reached a political agreement on fishing quotas for 2020 for the main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea. While good progress has been achieved so far for many important species and right decisions have been taken, Renew Europe stresses that more commitment from EU ministers would have been needed in order for all stocks to be fished sustainably by 2020.
Chris Davies, Chair of the Committee on Fisheries, said:
"The European Commission wanted cuts to be made in the catch of 40 stocks in order to end overfishing. It won't have been easy for fisheries ministers to agree these targets but for the most part they did and they should be applauded for it. Hard decisions taken now offer the prospect of a better future both for fish stocks and the fishing industry.”
"But the Common Fisheries Policy agreed seven years ago called for all stocks to be fished sustainably by 2020. No-one is claiming now that this goal will be achieved. Achieving maximum sustainable yield is not open to political compromise, you either do it or you don't. We need to invest in obtaining scientific advice about more stocks and we must not try to second guess the scientists. Sustainability is the goal and there is more to be done if it is to be achieved."
Pierre Karleskind, Coordinator of the Committee on Fisheries, added:
"We can see through these Total Allowable Catch (TACs) and quotas decisions that, for a lot of stocks, the catch limits had to be considerably reduced to achieve the objective of sustainable fishing by 2020. Let's not forget that other elements have an impact on this resource such as pollution or global warming. It is urgent that we consider the Common Fisheries Policy as part of a more eco-system based policy taking into account all elements that have an impact on marine ecosystems (transport, environment, fishing, etc.). Therefore Renew Europe calls for Fisheries and the Ocean to be part of the Green Deal!"
Note to editors:
You can find the whole list of 2020 EU total allowable catches in the Atlantic and North Sea here.