Oceana calls on Fisheries Ministers to halt the decline in Europe's fisheries

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The negotiations on fishing quotas for 2006 will take place during the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels on 20-21 December.


December 16, 2005
Madrid
Contact:
Marta Madina ( mmadina@oceana.org )




As the annual negotiations to set fishing quotas for next year approach, Oceana urges Ministers not to dodge the difficult decisions that need to be made in order to prevent the collapse of many stocks. In advance of the Fisheries Council meeting, the European Commission has tabled a timid set of proposals for 2006 quotas, calling it a “gradual approach”, no doubt anticipating the usual reluctance of Ministers to face the crisis and accept scientific advice which could lead to reductions in fishing activity unpopular at home.

As stocks continue to struggle, and species such as cod, hake, anchovy, rays and sharks are threatened, now is not the time for timidness by our decision makers, said Xavier Pastor, the fisheries biologist and Director of Oceana Europe

Although a number of the TACs proposed by the Commission follow scientific advice, there are some alarming cases where the advice is not heeded and far higher catches are proposed, especially for some of the most vulnerable and “politically sensitive” species, including cod and hake. In these cases the Ministers need to show leadership and agree catch limits that will ensure the survival and eventual recovery of these stocks.

Oceana has analysed the Commission’s proposals and compared them to the scientific advice from ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea), an independent scientific body that provides official advice to the European Commission and which involves many prestigious researchers working with scientific bodies of the North Atlantic countries, including Spain: “European Commission Proposals on  TACS in relation to Scientific Advice”. (ICES Fishing Areas Map)

Oceana welcomes the Commission’s proposal to close the “rasco” gillnet fishery in the North East Atlantic, which is also on the table at the Council meeting next week.

The decision to close this fishery should be a simple one for Ministers to make. There is absolutely no excuse to allow such a wasteful and harmful fishery to continue,” said Julie Cator, Policy Director for Oceana Europe, based in Brussels.

The Oceana report, The Use of ‘Rasco’ Gillnets in the Anglerfish, King Crab and Deep-Sea Sharks Fisheries in the North-East Atlantic, (released last December 7th) highlights how this fishery, involving around only 20 vessels, discards between 2,000 and 15,000 tonnes of anglerfish, generates kilometres of ghost nets and overexploits stocks of anglerfish, deep-sea red crab and deep sea sharks.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PROPOSALS ON TACS IN RELATION TO SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

 

Common name

Scientific name

Zone

ICES

Advice*

Commission

Proposal*

% change

Oceana evaluation

Greatre silver smelt

Argentina silus

I & II

Caution

116

-

K 

Greatre silver smelt

Argentina silus

III & IV

Caution

1,331

-

K 

Greatre silver smelt

Argentina silus

V, VI, VII

Caution

5,310

-

K 

Basking shark

Cetorhinus maximus

 

0

0

0%

J

Herring

Clupea harengus

30-31

92,600-97,600

91,600

-1%

-6%

J

Herring

Clupea harengus

22-24

95,000

47,500

-

?

Herring

Clupea harengus

IIIa

Pm**

Herring

Clupea harengus

25, 29, 32

120,000

115,842

-3,5%

J

Herring

Clupea harengus

Gulf of Riga

39,900

40,000

+0,25%

J

Herring

Clupea harengus

VIaS & VIIbc

14,000

14,000

0%

J

Herring

Clupea harengus

VIaClyde

1,000

800

-20%

J

Herring

Clupea harengus

VIIa

4,800

4,800

0%

J

Herring

Clupea harengus

VIIef

-

1,000

-

?

Herring

Clupea harengus

VIIg-k

-

11,050

-

?

Anchovy

Engraulis encrasicolus

VIII

0

0

0%

J

Anchovy

Engraulis encrasicolus

IX, X & CECAF

4,700

6,800

+44%

L

Cod

Gadus morhua

Skagerrak

0

3,315

+3,315%

L

Cod

Gadus morhua

Kattegat

0

850

+850%

L

Cod

Gadus morhua

25-32

14,900

45,339

+304%

L

Cod

Gadus morhua

22-24

28,400

28,400

0%

J

Cod

Gadus morhua

Vb, VI, XII, XIV

<700

613

-12,5%

J

Cod

Gadus morhua

VIIa

0

1,828

+1,828%

L

Cod

Gadus morhua

VIIb-K, VIII, IX, X & CECAF

<5,200

5,270

+1,5%

J

Porbeagle

Lamna nasus

I-XIV

0

0

0%

J

Megrim

Lepidorhombus spp.

IIa & IV

2,200

1,740

-21%

J

Megrim

Lepidorhombus spp.

Vb, VI, XII & XIV

2,300

2,448

+6,5%

K

Megrim

Lepidorhombus spp.

VII

<13,600

16,374

+34%

L

Megrim

Lepidorhombus spp.

VIIIabde

1,901

Megrim

Lepidorhombus spp.

VIIIc, IX, X, CECAF

1,200

1,136

-5,5%

J

Common dab and flounder

Limanda limanda & Platichthys flesus

IIa & IV

-

16,200

-

?

Anglerfish

Lophius spp

IIa & IV

-

16,200

-

?

Anglerfish

Lophius spp

IV

6,700

10,314

+54%

L

Anglerfish

Lophius spp

VII

<33,900

16,374

-33,5%

L

Anglerfish

Lophius spp

VIIIabde

6,120

Anglerfish

Lophius spp

VIIIc, IX, X & CECAF

0

1,136

+1,136%

L

Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

VIb, XII & XIV

Lowest possible

597

-

?

Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

Vb & VIa

<8,000

7,810

-5%

J

Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

VII, VIII, IX, X & CECAF

11,520

11,520

0%

J

Whiting

Melangius merlangus

Vb, VI, XII & XIV

Lowest possible

1,360

-

K

Whiting

Melangius merlangus

VIIa

Lowest possible

437

-

K

Whiting

Melangius merlangus

VIIb-k

10,800

18,360

+70%

L

Whiting

Melangius merlangus

VIII

<4,000

3,600

-10%

J

Whiting

Melangius merlangus

IX, X & CECAF

-

653

-

?

Hake

Merluccius merluccius

IIIa & IIIbcd

44,000

1,323

-0,5%

J

Hake

Merluccius merluccius

IIa & IV

1,541

Hake

Merluccius merluccius

Vb, VI, VII, XII & XIV

24,617

Hake

Merluccius merluccius

VIIIabde

16,419

Hake

Merluccius merluccius

VIIIc, IX, X & CECAF

0

6,661

+6,661%

K

Lemon sole & Witch

Microstomus kitt & Glyptocephalus cynoglossus

IIa & IV

-

5,850

-

?

Blue ling

Molva dypterigia

IIa, IV, Vb, VI & VII

0

Not relevant

-

?

Ling

Molva molva

I & II

<21,700

45

-11,5%?

J

Ling

Molva molva

III

136

Ling

Molva molva

IV

3,996

Ling

Molva molva

V

48

Ling

Molva molva

Vi, VII, VIII, IX, X, XII & XIV

14,966

Ling

Molva molva

IIa. IV. Vb, VI & VII

Not relevant

Ling

Molva molva

IV Norway

Pm**

Lings

Molva spp.

Vb

Pm**

Norway lobster

Nephrops norvegicus

IIIa & IIIbcd

4,700

4,700

0%

J

Norway lobster

Nephrops norvegicus

IIa & IV

22,850

21,597

-5,5%

J

Norway lobster

Nephrops norvegicus

Vb & VI

11,300

13,255

+17%

K

Norway lobster

Nephrops norvegicus

VII

17,450

17,450

0%

J

Norway lobster

Nephrops norvegicus

VIIIabde

3,500

3,500

0%

J

Norway lobster

Nephrops norvegicus

VIIIc

0

146

+146%

L

Norway lobster

Nephrops norvegicus

IX, X & CECAF

250

486

+94,5%

L

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

Skagerrak

<9,600

6,460

-16%

J

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

Kattegat

1,615

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

IIIbcd

-

3,766

-

?

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

Vb, VI, XII & XIV

-

786

-

?

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

VIIa

5,900

1,367

-76%

J

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

VIIbc

160

136

-15%

J

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

VIIde

<4,400

4,378

-0,5%

J

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

VIIfg

240-400

405

+1,25%

+102,5%

K

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

VIIhjk

450

396

-12%

J

Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

VIII, IX, X & CECAF

-

448

-

?

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

Vb, VI, XII & XIV

-

450

-

?

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

VII

-

13,600

-

?

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

VIIIabde

-

1,680

-

?

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

VIIIc

-

262

-

?

Pollack

Pollachius pollachius

IX, X & CECAF

-

448

-

?

Saithe

Pollachius virens

Vb, VI, XII & XIV

<14,000

12,787

-8%

J

Saithe

Pollachius virens

VII. VIII, IX, X & CECAF

-

4,738

-

?

Turbot  & brill

Psetta maximus & Scophthalmus rhombus

IIa & IV

-

4,095

-

?

Skates & rays

Rajidae

IIa, IV & VI

0

2,737

+2,737%

L

Atlantic salmon

Salmo salar

IIIbcd

-

460,000 number

-

K

Atlantic salmon

Salmo salar

32

0 – no catches on wild salmon

17,000

number

-

K

Common sole

Solea solea

IIIa & IIIbcd,

900

900

0%

J

Common sole

Solea solea

Vb, VI, XII & XIV

-

68

?

K

Common sole

Solea solea

VIIa

<1,000

960

-4%

J

Common sole

Solea solea

VIIbc

64

64

0%

J

Common sole

Solea solea

VIId

<5,720

5,720

0%

J

Common sole

Solea solea

VIIe

240

940

+292%

L

Common sole

Solea solea

VIIfg

<880

880

0%

J

Common sole

Solea solea

VIIhjk

330

553

+67,5%

L

Common sole

Solea solea

VIIIab

<4,200

4,060

-3,5%

J

Sole

Solea spp.

VIIIcde, IX, X & CECAF

-

1,216

-

K

Sprat

Sprattus sprattus

IIIa

Reduce herring by-catch

50,000

-

?

Sprat

Sprattus sprattus

IIIbcd

-

468,000

-

?

Sprat

Sprattus sprattus

VIIde

-

6,144

-

?

Horse mackerel

Trachurus spp.

VIIIc & IX

<46,000

46,750

+2%

J

Horse mackerel

Trachurus spp.

X & CECAF Azores

-

3,200

-

?

Horse mackerel

Trachurus spp.

CECAF Madeira

-

1,280

-

?

Horse mackerel

Trachurus spp.

CECAF Canarias

-

1,280

-

?

Norway pout

Trisopterus esmarki

IIa, IIIa & IV

0

0

0%

J

Legend

 

  *  Figures in tons

 ** Proposal for quotas still not available

J Oceana agrees with Commission’s decision

K Oceana requests extreme caution and even a reduction

L Oceana disagrees with Commission’s decision

 ?  There is not enough information available