EU has less than 2 months to meet the ending overfishing goals

Oceana calls on EU ministers to build on the European Commission’s proposal and set sustainable limits for the Atlantic in 2020, as required by law

Press Release Date: October 25, 2019

Location: Brussels


Oceana Web | email: | tel.: 202.000.0000

The European Commission has published its proposal on 2020 fishing catch limits for 72 stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea. Oceana considers the proposal as a good basis to build the upcoming discussions and final decision, although in some cases, further reductions in catches were advised by scientists to stop overfishing. Although, the proposal will have to be improved. Oceana stresses that this year’s decision will be the last chance for the EU to comply with its own fisheries law and commitments, for the sake of the environmental, economic and social benefits that come with once overfishing is put to a stop.

As the Commission states in their release, healthy stocks and profits of the fishing industry go hand in hand, yet 2020 shouldn’t just be ‘another year of progress for Europe’s fisheries’. The EU has a clear legal obligation to get all its exploited fisheries at sustainable levels by 2020. The December Council will show if Member States respect the EU law. This is the make-or-break test for the Common Fisheries Policy and EU environmental targets and their deadlines in general”, said Pascale Moehrle, executive director for Oceana in Europe.

NGOs univocally urge the Commission and EU fisheries ministers in the Council to:

  • set catch limits (TACs) following the scientific advice.
  • meet the objective and legal requirement to stop overfishing by 2020.
  • efficiently implement the landing obligation to stop discarding unwanted fish, and 
  • make the decision-making process transparent and demonstrate accountability.

The final decision will be made on 16-17 December in Brussels at Council meeting on Fisheries.

Learn more: NGO recommendations on the setting of Northeast Atlantic fishing opportunities for 2020

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