Atlantic, North Sea quotas proposed for 2012

Certain cod, haddock, herring and anglerfish (monkfish) fisheries in the Atlantic and North Sea may be in for a productive 2012.

On Tuesday, the European Commission proposed next year’s total allowable catches (TACs) for 62 stocks, including increases for nine stocks and reductions for 53 stocks.

The biggest increase would be for cod caught west and south of the British Isles, in the Bay of Biscay, west of Portugal and around the Azores, as the EC proposed raising the TAC by 141 percent to 9,679 metric tons in 2012. The next biggest increase would be anglerfish caught north and northwest of Spain, west of Portugal and around the Azores, as the EC proposed raising the TAC by 110 percent to 3,300 metric tons in 2012.

Herring caught south and southwest of Ireland would see a 60 percent increase in its TAC to 21,100 metric tons in 2012, while haddock caught west of Scotland around the Faeroes would see a 25 percent increase in its TAC to 2,506 metric tons in 2012. The other five increases are for certain hake, common sole, megrims and Norway lobster fisheries.

On the other hand, the biggest reductions would be for common sole harvested in the Irish Sea (44 percent) and in Skagerrak and Kattegat and Baltic Sea (38 percent). The majority of the other reductions amount to either 15 percent or 25 percent.

The proposed TACs are based on the scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). The EC’s ultimate aim is that all stocks are fished at sustainable levels, also known as maximum sustainable yield (MSY), by 2015 — a commitment that the EU made to the international community and a key pillar of the proposed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform.

“Our proposal’s cornerstones are long-term management of stocks and reliable scientific data to base our decisions on, in line with our proposed reform of the CFP. This reform will deliver a fisheries policy fit for the future, based on viable fish stocks which will assure fishermen a decent income,” said EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki.

Click here for a complete list of proposed 2012 TACs.

The proposed 2012 TACs for the Baltic Sea were announced early this month.


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