Jack mackerel fisheries in South Pacific to follow scientific advice
The Commission is generally satisfied with the outcome of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) preparatory conference, which concluded on 3 February in Santiago, Chile.
The renewal of the Interim Measures for the jack mackerel stock for 2012 was the main issue on the agenda. Oliver Drewes, spokesperson of Commissioner Maria Damanaki, commented: "It is important to have agreed to follow the precautionary approach in line with scientific advice for the South Pacific jack mackerel stock. However, the Commission is concerned of the lack of cooperation of certain partners, which risks to undermine the general effort deployed from all other Participants in the fishery for the conservation and management of stock."
It was agreed to further limit catches to 40% of the 2010 baseline. This is fully in line with the EU position and the scientific advice. The EU overall catch limit was fixed at 27.000 tonnes for 2012, a sharp reduction from 135.000 tonnes in 2010. Peru set a unilateral quota for its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which does not comply with the scientific advice.
The Convention will likely enter into force before the end of 2012 and start working properly at the beginning of 2013. At the moment, all decisions are taken on voluntary basis.