Half of 2013 fishing opportunities set by EU Fisheries Ministers are above scientific recommendations

Oceana regrets the missed opportunity to set responsible fishing opportunities.

Press Release Date: December 20, 2012

Location: Madrid


Marta Madina | email: mmadina@oceana.org | tel.: Marta Madina

This morning after an intense two-day negotiation process, EU fisheries ministers reached an agreement on 2013 catch limits for the main commercial species in the North East Atlantic. Oceana in a preliminary assessment of fisheries minister’s agreement describes the decisions adopted as contradictory and regrets another missed opportunity to end the overexploitation of European fishery resources.

“Now more than ever, decision makers have the tools they need to responsibly manage the stocks, but unfortunately it seems that they do not want to use them,” stated Xavier Pastor, Executive Director at Oceana in Europe. “Although we are moving in the right direction in many cases greater effort is needed to end overfishing. By ignoring 48% of the scientific advice, the quotas can hardly ensure sustainability nor can they guarantee reaching the MSY objective.”

Thanks to alternative assessment methods used for data-poor stocks, for first time in years the Council received scientific advice for most of the stocks managed through catch limits. The number of stocks without scientific advice declined from 61% last year to 15%. While the decisions showed an increase in the number of stocks that will be harvested at Maximum Sustainable Yield levels, regrettably, a high percentage of stocks will be exploited against advice and thus against the precautionary approach. 

For more information: Oceana fishing opportunities recommendations for 2013 (pdf)