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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement14 December 2021Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

AGRIFISH Council adopts 2022 fishing opportunities for the North-East Atlantic

Fishing vessel in the North Atlantic © Bruno Barracuda/Adobe Stock
Fishing vessel in the North Atlantic © Bruno Barracuda/Adobe Stock

Today, the Council agreed on fishing opportunities for 2022 for the fish stocks exclusively managed by the EU in the Atlantic, Kattegat and Skagerrak and for stocks shared with Norway bilaterally and with Norway and the United Kingdom trilaterally, following the agreement reached last Friday.

On the stocks managed by the EU only, Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said:

Today’s decisions are very good news for all the stocks that we are managing sustainably, guaranteeing that they remain at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels. I am very pleased that Member States have followed the Commission’s proposal. We have agreed 10 TACs in line with the levels advised by the scientists to guarantee MSY yields.

As proposed by the Commission, the Council has set 10 TACs in line with MSY advice, including 2 stocks in the lower range of MSY for plaice and for Norway lobster in Skagerrak and Kattegat. For cod in Kattegat, the Council has agreed on a package of measures with a limit of 97 tonnes for unavoidable catches taken in other fisheries and an allowance given to fishermen and women who are taking part in remote electronic monitoring projects to bring fisheries control into the 21st century. 

In the Bay of Biscay, the Council has agreed to the reopening of the Norway lobster fishery in Functional Unit 31 to 14 tonnes and to a cut of -36% for sole. In the Iberian waters, the megrim TAC will be raised by 13%, the anglerfish TAC by 5% and the horse mackerel TAC by 12%. These increases show that conservation efforts pay off.

On the stocks shared between the EU, Norway and the United Kingdom, 15 out of 18 TACs have been set in line with MSY.

Since the negotiations regarding stocks shared bilaterally with the UK are still ongoing, the Council has adopted temporary contingency TACs for those stocks for the first 3 months of 2022. This contingency plan ensures that fishing can continue seamlessly into the new year, if an agreement with the UK is not reached before the end of December. The contingency TACs are generally set at 25% of the 2021 TACs. Exceptions include stocks fished disproportionately at the beginning of the year.


Publication date
14 December 2021
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries