Positive outcome of the October AGRIFISH Council in Luxembourg
The AGRIFISH Council ended up with positive results today in Luxembourg. The ministers reached a political agreement on fishing opportunities for 2014 for certain fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. This agreement lays down for 2014 the maximum quantities of fish from specific stocks that can be caught in the Baltic Sea.
On this occasion, Commissioner Damanaki stated: "I am very happy about the outcome of the Council today. At last our new Fisheries policy is giving us some good fruits. It is paying us back. Everybody has realised that we have a success story. First, about the sustainability of the stocks in the Baltic, as they are now almost all fished at sustainable level. Second, we have a success story referring to regionalisation. I would like to congratulate the Baltfish, all the Ministers and the presidency for their job. Baltfish gives a very good example to follow. It shows that regionalisation can work."
Then the Council had an exchange of views on upcoming EU-Norway annual consultations establishing the management arrangements for the jointly managed fish stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak. This includes the exchange of reciprocal fishing possibilities between EU and Norway and common approach in the negotiations between Coastal States about to begin on a mackerel sharing arrangement for 2014.
The ICCAT annual meeting, which will take place mid-November in South Africa, has also been discussed among Ministers.
The Council was also briefed on the recurring dispute between the Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the EU about the management of the North East Atlantic mackerel stock in view of the Coastal State negotiations which will take place this month.
About mackerel, Commissioner stated that: "We don't want a mackerel war, but we don't want an agreement at any price. If we all work together, an agreement can be possible."
In addition, the Council adopted today its position on two proposals for two regulations on the common fisheries policy (CFP) reform following an early second reading agreement with the European Parliament. The next step of the procedure is an approval of the texts by the European Parliament.