Commissioner Sinkevičius announces more transparency on the Commission’s proposals for fishing opportunities

Today, the Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius has announced that the Commission would increase transparency in the negotiating process on the annual fishing opportunities (or total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas). In the future, all elements of the Commission documents complementing the proposals on fishing opportunities, such as “non-papers”, will be made public when they are transmitted to the Council. Non-papers on fishing opportunities complement the initial Commission proposals on new scientific advice or the results of international negotiations, which were not yet available when the initial proposal was adopted. This will make the negotiating process more transparent from the Commission’s side. Commissioner Sinkevičius said: “When EU Fisheries Ministers decide on the allocation of fishing opportunities, a lot is at stake: for the environmental sustainability of fish stocks and the marine environment, as well as the economic sustainability of our coastal communities. This is why it is important that such decisions are taken in a transparent way. An open dialogue with the civil society and our stakeholders will also help us to reach as many of our citizens as possible. With the publication of all elements of our working papers, this dialogue will become more transparent.” The announcement was made during a meeting, which the Commissioner hosted with a group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Pew Charitable Trusts, Fisheries Secretariat, Oceana, Seas at Risk, Coalition Clean Baltic, WWF, Our Fish and ENT.