Mediterranean and Black Seas: Commission proposes fishing opportunities for 2022

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The European Commission has adopted a proposal for fishing opportunities for 2022 in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. The proposal promotes the sustainable management of fish stocks in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas and delivers on the political commitments made in the MedFish4Ever and Sofia Declarations. It reflects the Commission’s ambition for achieving sustainable fisheries in these two sea basins, in line with the recently adopted 2030 Strategy of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).

In the Adriatic Sea, the Commission’s proposal implements the GFCM Mediterranean multiannual management plan for demersal stocks and its goal to reach sustainability for these stocks by 2026 through a decrease of the fishing effort. Furthermore, the proposal also incorporates various management measures for eel, red coral, dolphinfish, blackspot seabream, and deep-water shrimp stocks in the Ionian and Levant Seas and the Strait of Sicily, in line with GFCM decisions.

Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “Sustainable fisheries management in all of the EU’s sea basins is our commitment and responsibility. While we have seen some improvement in recent years in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, we are still far from reaching sustainable levels and more effort is needed to achieve this goal. We are, therefore, today making our proposal for fish catches in the two sea basins fully reliant on scientific advice.”

Today’s proposal also implements the Western Mediterranean multiannual management plan (MAP) for demersal stocks with the aim of further reducing the fishing, in line with scientific advice. This part of the proposal will be complemented once the relevant scientific advice this year becomes available. The ultimate objective is to reach the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) – the maximum amount of fish that fishers can take out of the sea without compromising the regeneration and future productivity of the stock – by 1 January 2025 at the latest.

In the Black Sea, the proposal includes catch limits and quotas for turbot and sprat. For turbot, the proposal transposes the EU quota decided in the revision of the GFCM turbot multiannual management plan. For sprat, the Commission proposes to maintain the same catch limit as in 2021.

The Council of Fisheries Ministers of the European Union will discuss the Commission’s proposal in December and establish the allocation of fishing opportunities. The regulation should apply as of 1 January 2022.

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