Seafish compares TACs to ICES advice

Seafish on Tuesday produced an analysis of the 2012 total allowable catches (TACs) agreed on by the European Union compared to the scientific recommendations made by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

The EU Council in December reached an agreement on fishing opportunities for 2012. But the council’s release does not compare the TACs to ICES recommendations, according to the UK seafood industry organization.

The Seafish analysis, which covers 97 fish stocks, categories 54 stocks as green (either below of complying exactly with IES advice), nine stocks as yellow (within 10 percent of ICES advice), six stocks as red (more than 10 percent above ICES advice) and 28 stocks with no color (the information is incomplete).

“On this basis we can say that around two-thirds of TACs follow scientific advice pretty closely. There has been a strong trend over the last few years towards greater compliance, with more TACs being in line with the scientific advice or with less discrepancy from the advice,” said Phil MacMullen, head of environmental responsibility for Seafish. “The processes that lead to TACs being decided seem to be working much better, and when this is combined with the moves to long term and ecosystem-based management it augers well for the future.”

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