Council greenlights 2020 fishing opportunities in the Mediterranean and Black Seas

The Council today adopted a regulation setting the 2020 catch limits for certain fish stocks in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

This is the first time that a stand-alone fishing opportunities regulation for both the Mediterranean and the Black Seas has been adopted, following the entry into force in 2019 of the Multiannual Plan for demersal stocks in the western Mediterranean Sea (WMMAP).

The adopted rules include:

  • maximum allowable fishing efforts, expressed in numbers of days, for certain fish stocks in the Western Mediterranean. These fishing efforts were set at a level 10% lower than the WMMAP baseline, and apply to Spain, France and Italy.
  • fishing opportunities and other measures decided on in the framework of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM). These measures include for instance a closure period for European eel in the entire Mediterranean Sea, and catch and effort limits for small pelagic stocks in the Adriatic Sea.
  • an autonomous quota for sprat in the Black Sea applying to Bulgaria and Romania, which was set at a level needed to maintain the current level of fishing mortality. The fishing opportunity for turbot in the Black Sea was decided in the GFCM.

These decisions were based on the best available scientific advice coming from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), the GFCM Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries (SAC) and the GFCM Working Group on the Black Sea (WGBS). and comply with the principles of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The GFCM is a regional fisheries management organisation competent for the conservation and management of living marine resources in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. The European Union is a member of the GFCM, together with Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. Measures adopted in the framework of the GFCM are binding on its members.

Next steps

The regulation will enter into force on the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and will apply as from 1 January 2020.

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