Latest scientific advice on fisheries recommends less fishing on a number of stocks

October 19, 2005

Brussels, 18 Oct 2005

The first indications from the scientific advice released by the independent International Council for the exploration of the Sea (ICES), yesterday, confirm the need for important reductions in the amount of fishing applied to a number of fisheries. This is particularly the case with deep sea species, such as sharks, orange roughy and roundnose grenadier, justifying the European Commission's efforts at putting in place effective conservation measures in these fisheries. Also concerned are cod stocks on which, given their highly depleted state, fishing levels continue to be too high and this despite the existing cod recovery plan. On southern hake, for which the Commission has proposed a recovery plan which will be discussed at Council next Monday, scientists recommend a zero catch. Fishing pressure on some flatfish stocks in the North Sea, such as skate and ray and, to a lesser extent, plaice and sole, should be reduced. This is also the case for anglerfish for which poor data undermine scientific advice and related management measures. Species used for reduction to fish meal and fish oil such as sandeel and Norway pout, for which fisheries are currently closed, require continued protection. Signs are more positive, however, for some stocks such as Atlanto-Scandian herring and blue whiting, while haddock, though less abundant than last year, still remains in good shape. ICES will transmit its full report to the Commission on Friday. The Commission will examine this report and, in the light of the advice from its own Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries (STECF), consultations with stakeholders and negotiations on shared stocks with Norway, will table a proposal on fishing possibilities for 2006, in late November/early December. This proposal will be discussed at the December Council. ICES: http://www.ices.dk

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