European Commission Suggests New Approach to Determine Fishing Opportunities

25 May 2011: The European Commission has published a report on progress achieved in the Common Fisheries Policy over the last few years and a proposed new method to determine fishing opportunities in EU waters in 2012. The document sets out how the Commission intends to act on the scientific advice it receives about the state of fish stocks when proposing catch limits and quotas for next year.

According to the Commission, the latest figures show that the state of fish stocks in European waters is slowly improving, but sufficient scientific data still is missing for the majority of the stocks, mainly due to inadequate reporting by member States. Therefore, the Commission will be using a new method for setting fishing limits, notably cutting levels where insufficient data exist.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki emphasized the need for a new, precautionary approach to proposing fishing opportunities, to phase out overfishing and encourage better data collection and reporting by States.

The Commission's suggestions are the object of an online public consultation, open until 1 September 2011, and input will feed into its proposals for fishing opportunities for 2012. The proposals will be adopted in the autumn of 2011. The Commission's suggestions also will be discussed at the Fisheries Council meeting scheduled on 28 June 2011 . [EU Press Release] [Public Consultation Website]