EU Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries
The Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of December 2012 took place in Brussels on 18-19 December 2012, under the presidency of Mr Sofoklis Aletraris, Cypriot Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. A press conference was held at the end of the discussions. The press conference can be followed by video streaming.
The Council discussed the fishing opportunities for 2013 for the Atlantic, the North Sea and the Black Sea.
Over two days and nights of negotiations, the Council reached a compromise on several important points.
Commissioner Damanaki said: "The Commission proposal was more ambitious but I think the outcome is satisfactory. It is a great achievement that we have better scientific advice for fish stocks. We moved from last year's situation, where we had 61,5% data poor stocks, to 15,6 % this year. It's a great change. An agreement was achieved to reach sustainable exploitation levels (Maximum Sustainable Yield, MSY) by 2015 for the great majority of the stocks on which we have scientific advice. Only for 4 stocks Maximum Sustainable Yield will be reached by 2017: this is to avoid discards. This is a good message for our fishermen and for our citizens. We can have healthy stocks, more jobs and more income for our coastal communities. It can be done. If we have the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in place next year, this will improve the decision making process and the progress made in the European Parliament this week gives us good hope."