Fisheries scientific advice points to need to deepen long-term management approach

October 17, 2006

Brussels, 16 October 2006

ACFM advice and press release: "While, clearly, much remains to be done to deepen and extend our long-term approach to fisheries management, there are some positive elements in today's news which should be welcomed. First, it shows that our long-term approach to the management of EU fisheries is starting to bear some fruit. Second, it underlines the benefits derived from the growing participation of stakeholders in the scientific process. This should encourage us all to redouble our efforts to reverse the decline in our fisheries and to move gradually towards sustainable catches and a stable fishing sector", Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, commented.

Commissioner Borg was reacting to the scientific advice prepared by the Advisory Committee on Fisheries Management (AFCM) of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), a first outline of which has just been released (see link below). ACFM reports encouraging signs from a number of stocks, in particular northern hake, which has been subject to a recovery plan since 2004. Mackerel stocks also seem to be increasing. However, other stocks show little or no signs of improvement, notably cod in European waters. The Commission, therefore, remains committed to a full review of the existing cod recovery plans in order to ensure positive results. Extending and deepening the long-term approach to management remains a core objective of the Common Fisheries Policy.

The ACFM report will be delivered to the Commission on Friday 20 October. It will then be examined in detail by the Commission's own advisory committee, the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries. As always, the Commission is fully committed to consulting with the industry and with other parties before formulating its proposals, and looks forward to receiving stakeholders' input to this process. The Commission will aim to table its proposal for 2007 TACs and quotas in late November or early December, for discussion at the December Council of Fisheries Ministers. Proposals on next year's fishing possibilities for Baltic Sea fish stocks and for deep-sea species have already been tabled (see IP/06/1147 and IP/06/18 ). The Commission welcomes ICES' work in preparing this report, as good science is a prerequisite for good management.

IP/06/1405 Date: 16/10/2006
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