On Tuesday, the Commission published its proposal setting out catch limits for fish stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea. Based on this proposal, EU fisheries ministers will set the final catch limits at the Council on 15-16 December, to apply as of 1 January 2021.
For 2021, the European Commission presents a proposal with 23 Total Allowable Catches (TACs). Following scientific advice, the Commission proposes for 13 stocks to decrease the fishing quota, while increasing it for horse mackerel in the Iberian waters and sole in Kattegat by 5% and 12% respectively. The fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches (TACs), are quotas set for most of Europe’s commercial fish stocks in order to keep them in a healthy status or help them return to it, while guaranteeing the wellbeing of fishermen and women. Under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the EU Member States are legally bound to manage fish stocks at sustainable levels.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said: “Today’s proposal shows our commitment to preserving biodiversity at sea, which is the basis for our coastal communities to thrive. Scientists are telling us to set lower catch limits for many of our stocks, and we are following this advice. Setting responsible catch limits will keep our ecosystems healthy and our fishing sector profitable, even in the face of short-term cuts. This is our guiding principle also in negotiations with our international partners.”