Commissioner Sinkevičius starts discussions on fishing opportunities for 2021 at Agrifish Council

Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, Virginijus Sinkevičius, presented yesterday at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers videoconference the Commission’s recent communication on sustainable fishing and orientations for 2021. The debate with Ministers started the new round of discussions and negotiations on fishing opportunities for the coming year. As also outlined in the Commission’s Communication, this year is the year when fish stocks have to be managed in line with the maximum sustainable yield target, i.e. ensuring sustainable levels of fishing. Thus, this will be the main objective in the proposals for the Atlantic, North Sea and Baltic Sea stocks. Commissioner Sinkevičius also spoke to the Ministers about the implementation of the landing obligation which despite being a win-win situation for fishermen and for the environment, remains a strong concern. On Brexit, he stressed that unity and a strong common position is needed to defend EU’s interests. Finally, the Commissioner talked to Ministers about the bycatch of dolphins, porpoises and other protected species. EU legislation, both nature and fisheries rules, already offers all necessary tools to Member States and in particular for the regionsto tackle this problem effectively. In addition, the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 underlines the need to eliminate bycatch of species threatened with extinction or to reduce it to a level that allows their full recovery. A press statement by Commissioner Sinkevičius is available here.