The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is very clear on the management objectives, provisions and deadlines required to facilitate the responsible exploitation of natural marine resources. However, no breakthrough in ending overfishing has been seen since the entry into force of this framework regulation.

So far, and according to the information reflected in the European Commission communication and an independent scientific study3 commissioned by Oceana, fishing mortality rates in the NE Atlantic are still clearly above the agreed levels required to meet sustainable objectives. This in turn is threatening the status of the stocks and leading to the under-exploitation of fish resources.

Oceana welcomes many of the proposals made by the EC on fishing limits for next year and considers them suitable to move fishing mortality rates towards sustainable levels. Nevertheless, many other proposals clearly go against the scientific advice; an unacceptable situation that runs counter to CFP commitments and hinders the necessary recovery of the EU fisheries.

The setting of fishing opportunities is the most important EU management tool to guarantee the health of fish stocks and the profitability of the fishing sector. Oceana urges the EU Fisheries Council to recover EU fisheries by setting fishing opportunities for 2017 that are consistent with scientific advice and the objectives of the CFP.

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