Saturday

22nd Sep 2018

EU states continue to overfish

  • The EU commission proposed that fishing of herring in some areas should be reduced by some 16 percent compared with last year, but fisheries ministers decided the quotas would remain at the same level (Photo: Annelieke B)

Fisheries ministers decided on Tuesday (13 December) to continue overfishing several stocks, although they pointed out that the number of fish stocks that will be fished sustainably is increasing.

They agreed on quota for 161 different stocks in the Atlantic, North Sea and Black Sea. For 34 of them, or 26.7 percent, ministers adopted higher quota than the European Commission proposed.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

“As you know, the Commission has put forward bold proposals for a number of stocks,” said environment and fisheries commissioner Karmenu Vella.

“Even though the final Council compromise does not reach the same level of ambition, it still makes considerable progress towards more sustainable management of our fisheries.”

The annual setting of fisheries quota is a national power in which the European Parliament is not involved.

The commission proposes quotas for fish species based mostly on scientific advice. However, fisheries ministers also have the economic interests of their nations in mind, leading to an annual haggling over the stock quota.

“Negotiations were very difficult,” said Slovak minister Gabriela Matecna, who chaired the long meeting.

"Sustainability has been the driver of today's agreement: the sustainability of our fish stocks, but also that of our fisheries sector."

Matecna pointed out that the limits for 44 stocks are in line with scientific advice, up from 36 last year.

The maximum volume of fish that can be caught sustainably is called the maximum sustainable yield (MSY).

Member states had earlier agreed that fish quota would be in line with MSY by 2020.

Environmental protection groups were disappointed, as they have been over the past years.

“Once again, ministers approved catch limits for 2017 that surpass scientific recommendations, ignoring the facts that 64 percent of European stocks are overfished and 85 percent are below healthy levels,” said the environmentalist lobby group Oceana in a press statement.

"By ignoring science in favour of short-term interests, Ministers are acting both economically and ecologically irresponsibly."

EU overpaid for fishing rights, auditor says

According to the European Court of Auditors, fish caught by European fishermen in the South Atlantic and Indian oceans cost almost €34 million more than necessary.

Focus

EU-China cooperation on CO2 storage lost in limbo

A long-standing cooperation between the EU and China on carbon capture and storage has fallen off the political agenda – with the European Commission not having any comment available when asked for an update.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us