Multiannual plan for fisheries in the Western Waters [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Irina Popescu (1st edition),

Bateaux de pêche dans la port du Conquet, Bretagne

© aterrom / Fotolia

On 23 March 2018, the European Commission proposed a multiannual plan for management of fisheries in a northeast Atlantic area along the western coast of the EU, known as the Western Waters. The plan covers fisheries exploiting stocks of fish and crustaceans living close to the sea bottom (i.e. ‘demersal fisheries’), and several deep-sea stocks. The proposed plan aims to ensure that stocks are exploited sustainably and that management is based on the most up-to-date scientific information. The EU fishing fleet concerned mainly includes vessels from Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

The proposal follows the pattern set by the recently adopted North Sea multiannual plan. It would allow a certain flexibility in setting fishing opportunities, by defining ranges of fishing mortality based on the best available scientific advice, and would introduce safeguard measures based on biomass levels, so as to restore stocks when they fall below safe biological limits. The plan would not include quantified values for fishing mortality or biomass levels. These are instead provided by the latest scientific advice available, and directly used by the Council when fixing fishing opportunities.


Stage: Committee vote

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