Time at sea limits canned for North Sea cod fishermen
North Sea cod fishermen will be able to land every catch – not just cod – more easily following a decision by European Parliament to remove limits on the number of days a vessel can spend in a fishing area.
An update to European Commission (EC) Council Regulation No. 1342/2008 to establish a long-term plan for cod stocks and the fisheries exploiting those stocks in the Kattegat, North Sea, the Skagerrak and eastern Channel, west of Scotland and the Irish Sea, and fisheries exploiting those stocks makes it fully compatible with the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) by applying the obligation to land all catches in full.
MEPs removed the rule for calculating fishing effort – i.e. power of each vessel in kW plus the number of days it is present within a given area – as this led fishermen to discard unwanted catches by hampering further adaptation of fishing patterns, such as the choice of area and gear.
Under the new rule, fishermen will face no obstacles to landing all their catches as they will no longer be subject to time limits.
The new regulation will apply from 1 January 2017.