EU Fisheries Meeting: Decisions

Written by on December 20, 2012 in Policy & Ocean Law
A fishing trawler in north-west Scotland.

A fishing trawler in north-west Scotland. Photo credit: Iolaire.

Over the last two days, many decisions were made regarding fishing policies in the European Union for 2013. EU fisheries ministers voted against automatic cuts in fishing quotas and a reduction in the number of fishing days at sea.

EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said she was “broadly satisfied” with the results of the meeting.

Here’s a summary of some of the decisions made:

  • plans to reduce the number of fishing days at sea were denied so they will remain at 2012 levels
  • catch levels of some white fish stocks will increase off the west coast of Scotland, the English Channel and the Irish Sea
    • –West of Scotland prawns increased 18%
    • –Irish Sea prawns increased 6%
    • –Channel plaice increased 26%
    • –Channel sole increased 6%
  • scale of cuts proposed by the Commission for other stocks was reduced
    • –Celtic Sea haddock quotas reduced from 55% to 15%
    • –West of Scotland megrim quotas reduced from 40% to 7%
  • officials agreed to ignore legal advice which said that the Cod Recovery Plan needed to be implemented
    • –fishermen say the cuts to cod stocks are unnecessary because stocks have doubled
    • –issue remains unresolved for now
    • –plan for 20% reduction is still possible
  • EP Fisheries Committee supports the Common Fisheries Policy reform
    • –reforms designed to protect endangered stocks and reduce bycatch, and manage stocks above sustainable levels
    • –negotiations on reforming the CFP will continue in early 2013, hopefully allowing the changes to enter into force by 2014 at the latest

“For once our fishermen can go into 2013, into the new year, and not face these automatic cuts which are just part of the plan – not necessarily right for the fishing stocks or right for the fishing industry in Scottish circumstances,” said Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead. “So that’s why I think they’re just breathing a huge sigh of relief because these talks have actually paid off for once.”

“This has been my third year attending these frustrating negotiations and I am delighted that we were able to secure the best possible deal for the UK fishing industry,” said UK fisheries minister Richard Benyon.

To learn more, check out some of these articles:

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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