Anchovy management plan questioned


Chris Dove, contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain

Published on
August 31, 2010

Members of the Alliance of Liberal Democrats for Europe (ALDE) attended a meeting of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee (PECH) this week to further examine the draft report establishing a long-term plan for managing the Bay of Biscay anchovy stock.

ALDE rapporteur Izaskun Bilbao Barandica had expressed concern that the management plan, which came into force with the Lisbon Treaty, had been waylaid. In July, Barandica asked how the EC intended to propose catch quotas while the plan is being adopted, questioning the validity of the calculation formula adopted by the PECH.

Barandica pointed out that following the December 2009 approval of a method of computing anchovy stocks according to a scientific formula — a formula backed by industry — the treaty awarded new powers to the European Parliament which, she claimed, are being ignored.

“As this is a new commission and council, they have to get used to admitting a new member with power-making decisions into the discussions,” she said.

A decision on the anchovy quota is pending because the council is questioning the legal basis for the regulation, and Barandica is awaiting final assessment on the matter by the council’s legal team. Committee chair Fraga Estévez suggested presenting the council with parliament’s findings. However, the decision was postponed once again to the next PECH meeting on 29 September.

In September, Spain’s Secretary General of the Sea and Institute for Research and Technology (AZTI-Tecnalia) will evaluate juvenile anchovy stocks in the Bay of Biscay aboard the oceanographic research vessel Emma Bardo.

ALDE’s other agenda points included a request for a deadline for tabling amendments to the multi-annual plan for the western stock of Atlantic horse mackerel and the EU-Chile agreement on the conservation of swordfish stocks in the southeastern Pacific.

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