Oceana describes as irresponsible the decision of the European Fisheries Ministers council on 2006 quotas

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Oceana´s first comments on 2006 quotas/ TACs defined by the European Council.


December 22, 2005
Madrid
Contact:
Marta Madina ( mmadina@oceana.org )




  • It has been only accepted a 10 % reduction in effort for deep sea stocks, despite Commission´s proposal of 20% and ICES advice for lowest possible TACS in order to allow the recovery of the stocks.
  • Anchovy Fishery will be reopen in March 2006 with 5000 tonne TAC, despite scientific advice which is to wait for stock assessment in May 2006 before considering reopening.

“The reopening of this fishery shows how far the fisheries ministers’ irresponsibility can reach, and it reflects their inability to learn the hard lessons that every year come from fishing grounds. The situation of the anchovy in the Bay of Biscay is critical, and this opinion is supported worldwide by the most relevant experts in this fishery. Once more their advices have been ignored, and in 2005 the fishery closed urgently due to a collapse. During the past week Elena Espinosa, the Spanish Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, had maintained her compromise with the responsible and sustainable fishing, but at the end she changed her mind favoring the French pressure and the short term interests of the fishing sector. If this is all we can expect from the leadership and global vision of our politicians, the only thing we can do is to be very disappointed,” says Xavier Pastor, the fisheries biologist and Director of Oceana Europe

 

  • Although ICES recommended the closure of cod fishery, Commission´s proposal stuck to 15% max annual reduction as agreed within “recovery plans”, which unfortunately are not enough.
  • The Commission´s proposal has been exceeded for megrims, nephrops, anglerfish and many other species where ICES has recommended precaution in some areas.
  • It seems that the very destructive fixed gillnet fishery (large gillnets used for anglerfish, deep- sea sharks and crustaceans) practiced by Spanish vessels with flags of convenience from German, UK and other countries such as Panama, Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, has been closed as Oceana´s request, but there are no written details on this decision yet, therefore the situation is very confuse.

“Oceana does not understand how it is possible that, based on the situation faced by European fisheries after many years of non sustainable management, there are still fisheries ministers who congratulate each other for decisions that push European stocks through a collapse. The fishing sector that has been pleased with this decision must also assume its responsibility for the fish stock situation,” concludes Xavier Pastor, Director of Oceana Europe.