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  1. #481
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    Increased North Sea plaice and sole quotas advised

    https://fiskerforum.com/increased-no...uotas-advised/


    Survey data has supported a decision by ICES to recommend a 2020 quota increase for North Sea sole

    The North Sea’s plaice and sole stocks are reported to be in better shape than had previously been estimated, according to ICES, with the 2020 catch recommendations for both adjusted upwards.

    The advice has been released ahead of the Council of Ministers due to take place next month, in which ICES advice always plays a key role.

    The adjusted advice follows the initial figures published in June, and the adjustments are in line with survey data made available after the summer. As well as advice for plaice and sole, adjustments have also been made to advice for cod, haddock and langoustine fisheries.

    The latest survey results show an increase in juvenile sole, which is subject to the North Sea Multi Annual Plan. While ICES advises that the sole fishery should be between 10,192 and 29,767 tonnes, a figure in line with MSY would be 17,545 tonnes, which would be an increase of as much as 40% for 2020, compared to the 2019 quota of 12,555 tonnes.

    Survey results also indicate an increase in juvenile plaice, largely due to the strong 2018 year class. ICES recommends a 2020 catch of 166,499 tonnes for the North Sea and Skagerak, which is 17% up on the 2019 figure of 142,217 tonnes.

    ICES recommendation for the cod quota is less positive, with a massive 61% reduction recommended, from 35,375 in 2019 to only 13,686 tonnes next year.

  2. #482
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    EAPO calls for balance at December Council

    https://fiskerforum.com/eapo-calls-f...ember-council/


    EAPO President Pim Visser

    With this year’s December Council approaching 16-17th December, the European Association of Fish Producers Organisations (EAPO) wants to see ministers set 2020 TACs and quotas with a balanced approach to both environment and the CFP’s socio-economic objectives.

    Ahead of the December Fisheries Council, EAPO has sent a position paper with relevant recommendations for about 40 stocks to the Council Members, the European Commission and the regional fisheries management bodies.

    The paper also contains constructive observations about pursuing the CPF objectives and the Commission’s approach to setting fishing opportunities. Specific attention is given to the difficulty in combining MSY objectives with the Landing Obligation.

    EAPO sees sufficient elements to set TACs and quota at levels taking into account long term ecological sustainability as enabling fishermen to achieve economic, social and employment benefits, and contribute to the food supply.

    ‘We specifically address the management of stocks for which scientific advice is far from positive. Unfortunately this is the case for the cod stocks in the North Sea, the Celtic Sea and West of Scotland, where a lot of our membership’s mixed fisheries activities are taking place,’ said EAPO President Pim Visser.

    ‘Because of this mixed character of the fisheries, we suggest a gradual and adaptive approach to management measures to reach the sustainability objectives.’

    He commented that only one week before the start of the December Agrifish council, for many stocks more information is required before a quantified proposal can be provided to the ministers. With the December Council Position Paper EAPO aims to contribute to the ministers having all the necessary data to agree the Council Regulation for fishing opportunities in 2020.

  3. #483
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    Third round of talks on 2020 North Sea cod TAC

    https://fiskerforum.com/third-round-...h-sea-cod-tac/


    Norway and the EU are meeting for third round of negotiations on 2020 North Sea cod quotas

    Delegations from Norway and the EU are meeting this week in Brussels, hoping to reach a breakthrough on an agreement on 2020 North Sea cod allocations, having already failed to secure a common position at meetings in Bergen and London.

    The NFFO, representing English fishermen, predicts several possible outcomes, one of which is that the EU would depart from its rigid demand for a 61% reduction in the cod TAC, and the consequences that this would have for fishing businesses, particularly in the UK and Denmark which get the largest shares of EU cod quotas.

    Another possibility would be for Norway to give way to the EU approach, which would be a significant departure from its position of a 34% reduction in the TAC, while a compromise position between the two would result in a TAC set somewhere between the two, undoubtedly along with a raft of additional measures designed to protect the cod stock.

    A fourth option, according to the NFFO, would be for a breakdown in negotiations between Norway and the EU, possibly leading to further negotiations in early 2020.

    ‘It is unthinkable that there would be no EU/Norway agreement for 2020, or that the parties would set autonomous TACs for cod in 2020,’ a spokesman for the NFFO said.
    ‘That would be to break with 40 years of co-operation during which there have been many ups and downs but always, in the end, an agreement.’

    The NFFO points out that an extremely low TAC will not of itself deliver cod recovery, and a very low quota will bankrupt fishing businesses because of the choke problem.

    ‘This will drive the problem underground as some vessels try to maintain their economic viability. Recovery will be impeded, not advanced. Rebuilding the cod stock is going to take some time – five years perhaps – and a more realistic approach would be to apply a significant but not draconian TAC reduction, and work with the fishing industry on a package of supporting measures such as closed and restricted areas were concentrations of cod are located,’ the NFFO states.

    ‘The EU Commission, by contrast argues, that it is legally bound by its own rules to apply the scientific advice that a 61% reduction is required to (theoretically) rebuild the cod stock in one year. Throughout the negotiations the EU has been inflexible on the 61% figure and has argued that a package of supporting measures should be applied on top of this level of TAC reduction.’

    The problem of cod appears to be rooted in both environmental and management factors, with fishing effort having underestimated and biomass overestimated for some years.

    At the same time, cod are moving northwards at a rate if 12km annually, and UK waters are already at the southernmost extremity of cod distribution – while this is also a problem not confined to the North Sea, as Celtic Sea, Irish Sea, West of Scotland and Baltic cod all face the same problems.

    ‘Changes to the Common Fisheries Policy in 2013, and in particular the EU landing obligation, seem to have undermined the arrangements which delivered steady recovery of the North Sea cod stock between 2020 and 2015,’ the NFFO’s spokesman commented.

  4. #484
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    Preparations Ramp Up for the December Council

    http://nffo.org.uk/news/preparations...r-council.html

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    December Council ends with good news and bad

    https://fiskerforum.com/december-cou...-news-and-bad/


    Cod quotas have been cut all round for next year at this year’s December Council

    As Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius announced following this year’s December Council of Ministers that a new era of European fisheries is opening, NGOs have been quick off the mark to accuse ministers and the EU Commission of ushering in a new era of overfishing. As always, the results are a series of compromises – often deeply uncomfortable ones.

    ‘We reached an agreement proving our credibility to deliver on the maximum sustainable yield objective that we all have committed to under the Common Fisheries Policy. Next year the EU Member States’ fleet will fish at the level that would not hinder the regeneration of the stocks,’ Virginijus Sinkevičius said as the all-night session finally came to an end.


    It’s not all bad news – North Sea haddock quotas for 2020 are lifted 23%

    ‘Thanks to the efforts made by European fishermen and women we already see that sustainable fishing pays off. Sustainability in fisheries serves both our planet and our fishing communities who deserve a chance to reap real economic rewards.’

    He commented that this overall agreement brings 99.4% of landings in the EU from sustainable sources, adding that for some of the remaining stocks the agreement foresees even stricter conservation measures.

    But this does not detract from the reality that significant cuts in cod quotas were agreed for the Irish Sea, West of Scotland and the Celtic Sea, and following the EU-Norway agreement last week for a 50% reduction in next year’s North Sea cod landings.

    SWFPA chief executive Mike Park said that 2020 promises to be extremely challenging.

    ‘Cod is an important part of the mixed fishery for my members and a reduction in what they can catch on this scale will be extremely challenging,’ he said.

    ‘Due most likely to climate change, the distribution of the species in the North Sea has changed markedly, with a pronounced northwards movement. It is especially disappointing that the European Commission failed to recognise the validity of the arguments made by the industry across Europe for a more gradual reduction in total allowable catch over time to aid recovery.’

    This is expected to be the last December Council in which Britain is present as an EU nation and UK fisheries minister George Eustice pledged that once the UK has extracted itself from the EU, it plans to place into legislation a new, legal commitment to fish sustainably.

    ‘We also know that to protect the profitability of fisheries in the future, we must fish sustainably today. Some of the problems have been exacerbated by the fact that the EU’s outdated method for sharing quota between member states means that the UK gets a very small share of the cod in our own waters,’ he said.

    ‘I know that some of the quota reductions will be very difficult for some sectors of the industry and there has been considerable debate this year about the importance of by catch allowances to support the delivery of the discard ban,’ said.

    In other areas there have been positive developments, with conservation measures for sea bass starting to show a significant recovery.

    There were also increases for other species with quotas for haddock in the North Sea rising by 23% and sole in the Western Channel up by 19%.

    ‘We agreed on a number of substantial increases for more than 25 valuable fish stocks. The more sustainable we are, the more prosperous European fishermen and women will be,’ Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius said.

    ‘I want to especially stress that for the first time the focus of the agreed fisheries management is on strict measures increasing selectivity,’ he said, commenting that the extension of protection zones and monitoring measures introduced will improve selectivity and sustainability of fishing activities in the Celtic Sea and the Kattegat.

    For the first time. the Commission proposed fishing opportunities for the Mediterranean, agreeing on a 10% reduction for fishing effort on demersal sticks.
    For the Black Sea, a compromise has been reached on quotas for the two most important commercial species, sprat and turbot, shared between Bulgaria and Romania.

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  8. #488
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    British fishing industry left unhappy by 'difficult' 50% cut to North Sea cod quota

    https://inews.co.uk/news/environment...eement-1343563

  9. #489
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    French fleet’s Celtic Sea fishery axed

    https://fiskerforum.com/french-fleet...-fishery-axed/


    French fishermen’s organisation CNPMEM has expressed its disappointment at the December Council’s Celtic Sea decisions

    French fishermen’s body CNPMEM has expressed its disappointment with the outcome of this year’s December Council and the resulting fishing opportunities after two days of long an difficult negotiations in Brussels.

    ‘The results are disappointing and worrying for future interests of European fishing,’ said CNPMEM President Gérard Romiti.

    He commented that the efforts made by the industry in recent years have led to the majority of fisheries reaching the CFP’s goal of MSY by 2020, and said that the CNPMEM regrets that in spite of the industry’s willingness to come up with concrete proposals to protect cod and whiting in the Celtic Sea, the Member States were not able to take this to a conclusion.

    ‘For me this is a failure of the implementation of regionalisation, which was one of the pillars of reform, and something in which fishermen had a great deal of hope, and perhaps a reflection of France’s isolated position during the negotiations,’ he said.

    While there are some positive outcomes while staying faithful to scientific advice, such as northern sea bass, some Eastern Channel stocks and whiting and pollock in the Bay of Biscay, these do not mask the difficulties facing the French fleet’s Celtic Sea fisheries.

    He commented that CNPMEM regrets that the industry’s efforts have not been taken into account, and hopes that a meeting with the authorities to examine the reasoning behind these decisions and to quickly find solutions that will enable the affected fishermen to continue to work in a sustainable manner.

  10. #490
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    Time to break impasse on international mackerel management

    https://www.spsg.co.uk/time-to-break...el-management/

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