Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2020

Ahead of the 16-17 December Council meeting on Fisheries, the European Commission has today adopted its proposal for fishing opportunities in 2020 for 72 stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea: for 32 stocks the fishing quota is either increased or remains the same; for 40 stocks the quota is reduced. The fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches (TACs), are quotas set for most commercial fish stocks in order to keep or restore healthy stocks, while allowing the industry to profit from fishing the highest amount of fish. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Today’s proposal consolidates our efforts for sustainable fishing in Atlantic and North Sea waters. Over the past years, we have had a steady rise in the number of healthy stocks, and – as a consequence – also a steady rise in the profits of our fishing sector. This is the result of responsible management and continuous implementation efforts, primarily by our fishermen, who are the first ones to implement our conservation measures and also the ones to benefit most from increased yields. With such sustained commitment, 2020 will be another year of progress for Europe’s fisheries.” In line with the objectives and legal framework of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the Commission is proposing fishing opportunities at ‘maximum sustainable yield’ (MSY) for the stocks with a full scientific assessment, and at ‘precautionary levels’ for other stocks. The proposal follows the advice of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Today’s proposal will be submitted for discussion and decision by the EU Member States at the Fisheries Council on 16-17 December, to be applied as of 1 January 2020.