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INSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable Fish

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The European Commission today tabled its proposal on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2016.
The EU has been criticised recently for imposing a minimum size for fishing clams in the Mediterranean. Italian press reports that these rules limit the ability to enjoy the traditional dish of spaghetti with clams.
The Bluefin Tuna purse seine fishing season, lasting from 26 May to 24 June 2015, has finished with no major issues that may indicate systemic overfishing or illegal fishing activities of Bluefin Tuna by EU vessels. It was the first time in almost a decade that the EU fishermen benefited from an increased quota as BFT fishery has recovered significantly. Although scientists still need to assess the state of the stocks later this year, it is clear that the successful implementation of stricter control measures by the EU to fight IUU and overfishing has played a significant role in the recovery of the stock.

Management of fishing capacity - fishing fleet

Managing fish stocks
The EU has a great number of fishing vessels of all sizes. These are located in Ireland. © Lionel Flageul

Management of fishing capacity serves the aim of a stable and enduring balance between the fishing capacity of the fleets and the fishing opportunities over time.

EU countries are obliged to report annually on this balance, using the guidelines prepared by the European Commission. For fleet segments with overcapacity the member state has to take measures under an action plan, to achieve the balance, for instance through publicly funded decommissioning of vessels. When a member state fails to report or does not implement the action plan, this may lead to proportionate suspension or interruption of the relevant EU funding.

For each EU country a fishing fleet capacity ceiling is established, in kilowatts (kW) and gross tonnage (gt). New fishing vessels may enter the fleet only after the same fleet capacity (in kW and gt) is removed from the fleet. Through this ‘entry-exit’ system Europe’s fleet can no longer increase.

The Commission maintains an EU fleet register with the necessary vessel information, which it receives periodically from the member states.