Today, the Council agreed on fishing opportunities for 2021 for the fish stocks managed by the EU, based on a proposal made by the Commission.
The Council also adopted a 3-month transition measure as proposed by the Commission to ensure fishing opportunities in the exceptional circumstances surrounding the still ongoing negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said:
I am very pleased that for the stocks the EU is managing on its own, we have brought eight total allowable catches in line with the levels that guarantee the maximum sustainable yields from those stocks. EU Ministers have followed my proposals on the precautionary approach for 9 fish catch quotas. This is a step in the right direction. The Commission proposal was very ambitious and I welcome today’s overall good outcome.
As proposed by the Commission, the Council has set eight total allowable catches, or fishing opportunities, in line with advice on maximum sustainable yield - the largest catch that can be taken from a species' stock to maintain the size of the population. In addition, it has decided on sustainable catch limits for southern seabass (Bay of Biscay) in line with maximum sustainable yield (MSY). The Council has also followed the Commission proposal on 9 fishing opportunities applying the precautionary approach, including 4 deep-sea total allowable catches (TACs). The Council has continued the protection of the vulnerable deep-sea sharks through a prohibition of fishing of this species. In line with the Commission proposal, the Council has agreed to set very limited bycatch for cod in Kattegat (123 tonnes), and roundnose grenadier in Skagerrak and Kattegat (5 tonnes), and a scientific TAC for nephrops in the southern Bay of Biscay (2.4 tonnes).
As regards stocks that will be shared with the UK, The Council also decided as a transition measure to proportionally roll over the 2020 total allowable catches (TACs), with a few limited exceptions, as proposed by the Commission. This will ensure fishing opportunities in the exceptional circumstances surrounding the still ongoing negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
Today, the EU has responded to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and has secured continued fishing for all its fishermen and women. Vessels can take to the sea on 1 January 2021 and the fishing sector can be reassured that their business is recognized as a priority for the EU.’
These measures complement the Commission’s contingency proposal from last week, which provides for the possibility of reciprocal fishing access by EU and UK vessels to each other's waters, if and when agreed between the EU and the UK, and all conditions for the continuation of the EU fishing operations have been met.
- Publication date
- 17 December 2020
- Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries