Days at sea / CFP / Quota talks - Page 40
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  1. #391
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    Isle of Man scallop season: Government introduces 'strict' new quotas

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-euro...f-man-41804693

  2. #392
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    Fishing rules hit Catch-22 situation

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/fish...h-22-situation

    The NFFO reports that there are deep concerns within the fishing industry that an impasse between the European member states and EU Parliament over technical conservation rules will place fishermen in the impossible position of having to abide by conflicting sets of rules – one requiring some fish to be discarded while another rule demands that it be landed.

    As the NFFO points out, this is potentially important for the UK as constraints on Parliamentary time could mean that EU technical conservation rules retained from the CFP could remain in force in the UK for some time after March 2019.

    The Commission has proposed the replacement of the old technical rules (EC 850/98) with a framework that provides for member states to develop their own technical rules through regional policies, such as North Sea or Western Waters, with baselines round about the present levels as a baseline safeguard.

    ‘Apart from being an example of the discredited top-down prescriptive approach to fisheries legislation, regulation 850/98 had once central flaw which made change absolutely necessary. Catch composition rules made it obligatory for fishermen to discard fish caught outside predefined catch composition percentages, such as the 5% cod requirement.'

    ‘This approach was and is therefore completely incompatible with the landings obligation, where all quota species must be landed,’ the NFFO said.

    ‘In going through the co-decision process, the Commission’s proposal was amended by the Council of Ministers to reintroduce some elements of the catch composition rules; and it is this version that is now under consideration by the European Parliament. Some 733 amendments have been proposed by MEPs, most of whom would not be able to tell a cod-end from a tethered sheep.’

    It seems increasingly likely that that the European Parliament will follow the Council approach and reintroduce catch composition rules. This would leave the fishing industry facing a continuation of the complex mesh size and catch composition rules and there will be no real change from the current mess.

    ‘In other words, the vessel’s skipper would be legally obliged to both discard and retain fish caught outside the catch composition percentages,’ the NFFO spokesman commented.

    The NFFO presents a couple of solutions, which are either reverting to the Commission’s proposal which had quantitative targets for species but not catch composition rules which are instead applied at fishery rather than at vessel level, or else leaving the question of how to define smaller mesh sizes entirely to the member states at regional level, thus avoiding requiring catch compositions in the European level legislation.

    ‘Whatever solution is chosen, we are adamant – skippers must not be placed in the situation of having to meet contradictory legal requirements.’

    Source: NFFO

  3. #393
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    Capelin and herring advice announced

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/cape...vice-announced

    ICES has published its advice for the Barents Sea capelin quota for 2018, while the initial advice for the 2017-18 capelin fishery in Icelandic waters has also been made public. ICES has also corrected an error in its herring advice, revising downwards its recommendations for both this and next year.

    ICES advises that under the Joint Norwegian–Russian Fisheries Commission (JNRFC) management plan, Barents Sea capelin catches in 2018 should not exceed 205,000 tonnes, while Iceland’s Institute of Marine Research has recommended a 208,000 tonne capelin fishery for the 2017-18 season, with the Institute’s advice due to be re-examined in the light of further surveys to be carried out early next year.

    A month-long survey has already carried out, ending earlier this month, delayed by breakdowns and poor weather conditions, and covering an area ranging from East Greenland to Jan Mayen and waters around Iceland. The survey identified mature capelin around East Greenland and as far west as the edge of the Icelandic continental shelf, but not yet extending around northern Iceland.

    ICES had withdrawn its advice for the 2018 Atlanto-Scandian herring fishery, and has issued new figures based on revisions in its survey results.

    The 646,075 tonne figure for this year’s fishery has been revised downwards to 437,364 tonnes, while the ICES recommendation for the 2018 fishery is 384,197 tonnes, based on the application of the long-term management plan agreed between the EU, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway and Russia.

    According to ICES, fishing mortality has been declining since 2010 and was well below FMSY in 2016. But ICES states that the stock is declining and is estimated to have been below the MSYb trigger since 2014. ICES figures show that since 1998 there have been four large year classes, in 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2004, while all year classes since 2005 are estimated to be average or small.

    Source: Various

  4. #394
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    EU Commission issues 2018 Atlantic and North Sea proposals

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/eu-c...-sea-proposals

    The European Commission has announced its proposals for North Sea and Atlantic fisheries for 2018, in advance of the December Council, with a mixed bag consisting of proposals for increases to some quotas, others unchanged and some cut back.

    Proposals for 78 stocks have been tabled, with 53 of the proposals for TACs to remain unchanged or be increased. The Commission proposes cuts to 25 stocks.

    Some of the most radical proposed reductions are for 100% cuts in whiting in some areas, as well as plaice in areas 7h, 7j and 7k. A 62% cut for herring in 7g, 7h, 7j and 7k is proposed, along with a 39% reduction on sole in 3a and a 25% reduction in anchovy and a 37% reduction for Kattegat plaice.

    Area 7a sees some of the largest increase recommendations, including a 100% increase in cod, a 70% increase in herring and a 63% plaice increase.

    TAC increases are proposed for a total of 19 stocks, such as North Sea nephrops, four sole stocks and three plaice stocks in North Western waters, and megrims in South Western waters. The increases also include the socioeconomically important sole stock in the Bay of Biscay that has followed a management plan led by the industry. The same applies to sole in the Eastern Channel and the Western Atlantic stock of horse mackerel.

    14 stocks are expected to remain at the same level as last year, while of the 25 recommended reduced TACs, 15 are reductions of less than 20%.

    Zero TACs are proposed for plaice in the Celtic Sea and for whiting in west of Scotland and in the Irish Sea, and there is a proposal to prohibit fishing for eels in all community waters following scientific advice emphasising the importance of ceasing all fisheries that target spawners, until there is clear evidence of improvement of the state of the stock.

    ‘Our fleet is becoming more profitable and that is because some of the EU's key fish stocks are healthier and more abundant. The perseverance of the fishermen and the responsible fisheries management decisions stand to prove that sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand,’ said Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. ‘That being said now is not the time for complacency. We must continue our joint efforts to manage our seas and oceans in a way that works for the environment, for the economy and for future generations.’

    The Commission points out that the size of some key fish stocks is increasing – notably for sole in the North Sea, northern hake and southern horse mackerel – so is the profitability of the fishing sector, with an estimated €1.5 billion profit for 2017.

    It states that the EU has made important progress over recent years, with 44 stocks now fished at Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels, up from only five in 2009, while the objective under the Common Fisheries Policy is to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels by 2020.

    The proposals will be submitted for discussion and decision by the Member States at the December Fisheries Council (11-12th December), to be applied as from 1st January 2018.

    The Commission proposes fishing quotas on the basis of independent scientific advice received from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and these proposals cover stocks managed by the EU alone and stocks managed in co-operation with third countries, such as Norway, or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). International negotiations for many of the stocks concerned are still ongoing and some further stocks are awaiting scientific advice.

    Later this autumn, the Commission will propose additional quota top-ups for fisheries that in 2018 fall under the landing obligation, which requires that all catches of regulated commercial species on-board are landed and counted against quota. The allowed quota is thereby increased to facilitate the transition to the new system of No Discards. The exact top-ups per fishery will be determined on the basis of scientific advice. The proposal does not take into account the forthcoming TAC top-ups.

    Source: EU Commission

  5. #395
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    Commission puts EU fishermen in catch-22 situation

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/agr...-22-situation/

  6. #396
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    Steps towards regionalisation of technical measures

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/step...nical-measures

    EuropÍche has welcomed as a positive step the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries adoption of a position on the European Commission proposal establishing new rules on the conservation of fishery resources and the protection of marine ecosystems (technical measures) towards regionalisation, which is hoped will bring decision-making closer to fishermen and coastal communities.

    After months of consultation with all interested parties, the European Parliament has delivered its opinion on technical measures. The Parliament's position builds on the European Commission's proposal aimed at modernising the existing rules on how, when and where fishermen may operate. The ultimate goal is to reduce catches of juveniles of commercial and non-commercial species, to improve species selectivity, to avoid catches of protected species, to reduce discards and to minimize environmental impacts.

    However, these results have been overshadowed by the decision taken by the Committee not to give a mandate to rapporteur Gabriel Mato to enter into negotiations with the Council until this report is voted in plenary, possibly in February 2018.

    According to EuropÍche, this decision will unnecessarily delay the legislative process and put at risk the difficult compromises achieved on very complex fishery issues.

    Regarding the overall goals of the Regulation, the European Parliament has adequately introduced ‘performance indicators’, replacing the rigid ‘targets’ proposed by the Commisson to assess the effectiveness of the measures.

    ‘In addition, the Commission had proposed a 5% limit for catches under the minimum size as a target across all seas which in our view is arbitrary, unrealistic, lacks scientific basis and is, in some cases, impossible to implement,’ EuropÍche president Javier Garat stated.

    ‘Even though the sector feels closer to the Council’s approach which sets the target to reduce by-catch as far as possible, the European Parliament has found a valid way to adapt the 5% threshold to all sea areas through regionalisation. This approach is taking into consideration the specificities of the different regions while moving away from micro-management.’

    EuropÍche argues that there is a lack of definition and understanding as to how criteria and environmental targets should be made operational; creating much uncertainty on what exactly ‘good environmental status’ means for commercially exploited fishing resources.

    The sector welcomes that all EU institutions consider multiannual plans as the most appropriate vehicle for the adoption and application of specific technical measures in the regionalisation process.

    The controversial pulse trawl would be permitted on a commercial scale without limitation on the number of permits, provided a positive scientific assessment is issued by the EC scientific committee (STECF) after a four-year trial period. This fishery would also be subject to certain technical conditions.

    EuropÍche’s position is that one of the biggest discrepancies between institutions exists over the definition of ‘directed fishing’. The Council has reinstated the so-called catch composition rules while the European Parliament has decided to set out the definition through regionalisation. Similar disparity appears between the institutions concerning mesh sizes.

    ‘The European Parliament maintains a ‘status quo’; meaning that current rules relating to mesh sizes will remain the same and may be modified through regionalisation up to a period of 18 months after the entry into force of this Regulation. On the contrary, the Council has in its approach already modified certain mesh sizes as proposed by the Commission,’ Javier Garat said.

    We are convinced the European Parliament has delivered an important contribution towards simplification and has managed to move away from top-down measures which up until now were compiled in 30 different EU regulations. Fishermen believe that there is still room for further flexibility in order to adapt to the evolving realities of fisheries. We must not forget that by 2020 all stocks must achieve maximum sustainable yield exploitation (MSY) levels, Brexit will come into effect and all landings obligations will be fully implemented.’

    ‘In the context of the landing obligation, fishers are fully responsible for the catches taken and not for what they land; accordingly they should be allowed to decide the best selective measures. In this sense, the landing obligation in itself is the greatest incentive for improving selectivity. Fishermen can only be selective up to the point of possibility,’ he said.

    ‘For obvious economic reasons, fishermen do not want to catch high levels of undersized fish and are therefore as selective as possible. The levels of by-catch vary with season, areas and target species. Furthermore, Members States declared that there is still no reliable data on the level of discards in the different EU fisheries. Accordingly, fishers should be free to choose the most appropriate gears to achieve greater selectivity so as to reduce as much as possible unwanted catches.’

    He commented that whether this framework would be good enough to adequately adapt EU fisheries in all areas to achieve the ambitious objectives set in the Common Fisheries Policy very much depends on the future vote in Plenary.

    Source: EuropÍche

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