The Commission proposed new fishing quotas for 78 fish stocks in the Atlantic and North Sea on Tuesday (7 November). Fisheries ministers will use the Commission’s proposal as a basis for negotiations in the next agriculture and fisheries council on 11 and 12 December.
On 25 fish stocks, the Commission proposed a decrease in quotas (the amount fishermen are allowed to catch), to ensure they have time to recover and can be fished sustainably in the future.
For three stocks in particular – plaice in the Celtic Sea, as well as whiting off the coast of West Scotland and in the Irish Sea – a 0% quota was proposed, equivalent to a total ban.
Until recently, when vessels landed fish stocks exceeding their quotas, they simply threw them back in the water. This waste of resources, of up to 40% of all fish caught for some species, led the Commission to require that fishermen land and count all fish they catch towards their quota – a measure called “landing obligation” – which will start to be implemented for some stocks on 1 January 2018.