European Commission cuts quotas for 10 countries
The European Commission has cut this year’s fishing quotas for 10 member countries to compensate for overfishing in 2013 as it seeks to regenerate Europe's depleted fish stocks.
Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and United Kingdom and 45 fish stocks are affected by this year’s quota reductions. The reduced quotas will apply to the same stocks that were overfished in 2013, with extra reductions made for consecutive overfishing, overfishing above 5 percent, or if the stock concerned is subject to a multiannual plan.
“If we want to be serious in our fight against over-fishing, we need to apply our rules by the book — and this includes the respect of quotas,” said Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. “I’m glad to see that we did a better job in 2013 than in pervious years when it comes to staying within quotas. That said, to achieve healthy fish stocks across Europe we also need efficient controls to enforce the rules in place.”
If a member state has no fishing quota available to “pay back” their overfishing, the quantities will be deducted from an alternative stock in the same geographical area, taking into account the need to avoid discards in mixed fisheries.
Reductions on alternative stocks are decided in consultation with the member states concerned and will be published in a separate regulation later this year. On the other hand, if the quota available is not sufficient to fully operate the said deductions, the remaining quantities are carried over to the following year.
Compared to last year, the number of reductions made went down by 22 percent.