EU fisheries chief told fishermen need more time to achieve MSY
European Union fishing fleets need more time to mitigate the economic and social impacts of the quota reductions necessary to meet the target of maximum sustainable yield (MSY), fisheries body Europêche has told Karmenu Vella, E.U. Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs, and Fisheries.
Europêche representatives met with Vella in mid-April to discuss the main topics at the top of the E.U.’s political and legislative fisheries agenda. At this meeting, both sides welcomed the positive results yielded by the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), including higher levels of supply, better competitiveness of the fleets, and greater levels of income for fishermen.
While Europêche representatives stressed the need to concentrate efforts in the main target stocks to achieve MSY levels as quickly as possible, they also requested more flexibility in terms of time and due consideration to socio-economic consequences of total allowable catch (TAC) cuts ahead of forthcoming Council negotiations.
“I am pleased to observe that both the European Commission and the sector agree that the CFP performance indicators cannot be solely based on the number of stocks fished at MSY levels but more comprehensively on the achievement of economic, social, and environmental objectives contributing to the availability of food supplies,”Europêche President Javier Garat said.
Europêche also advised Vella that the landing obligation is still seen as impracticable for some demersal fisheries, and urged for several actions, more data on choke species, and full utilization of the flexibility measures in order to continue operating in 2019.
A key part (Article 2(2)) of the CFP was a deadline set to achieve the MSY of European fish stocks by 2015, but incrementally and progressively by 2020 at the latest if there is socio-economic evidence that there will be hardship caused to fishing businesses if the initial deadline is met.