For another year quotas agreed at the Fisheries Council are disastrous and with scant regard for the long term conservation of fish stocks.
Oceana, the international marine research and conservation organisation, believes that the high total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for 2007 agreed at the Fisheries Council are disastrous, disregarding scientific advice and with scant regard for the long term conservation of fish stocks.
Every year, EU Fisheries Ministers tend to agree quotas higher than those proposed by the European Commission but this year the agreement appears worse than ever. The negotiations began with the Commission already proposing higher quotas than scientists recommended, and it was inevitable that this would deteriorate further as Ministers defended their national short term interests.
For most key fish stocks, including inter alia hake, megrim, anglerfish, Norway lobster, whiting and common sole, the agreed quotas exceed scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the scientific body that advises the EU. A few striking,examples are:
“It's incredible and incomprehensible how Ministers continue to play politics when our fish stocks are in serious trouble” said Ricardo Aguilar, Research Director of Oceana Europe.
“I was appalled when I saw the list of agreed quotas. Only last month an important scientific study outlined how fish stocks risk global collapse if fisheries continue to be managed as they are now. How can Ministers continue to ignore this - do they really want to be responsible for future generations living in a world of empty oceans?”, concluded Aguilar.