Commission proposes higher anchovy catches in Bay of Biscay
The European Commission today proposed a total allowable catch (TAC) of 15 600 tonnes of anchovy in the Bay of Biscay for the fishing season 1 July 2010 - 30 June 2011.
This proposal is based on new scientific advice which confirms that the stock is in a good state and above safe biological limits. The proposed TAC represents 30% of the estimated biomass, and will be available to fishermen from France (10%) and Spain (90%). The estimated stock size must be confirmed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea's Advisory Committee and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries mid-July. Should the final figures change, the Commission's proposal will be updated accordingly.
Both the fishing season dates and the catch limit proposed are in line with the Commission's proposal for a multi-annual management plan for this anchovy stock, which was tabled last year (see IP/09/1199) and is still under discussion by the Council and the European Parliament. The plan aims at ensuring the sustainable exploitation of this key stock and reducing the risk of collapse, while supporting an economically viable fishery. The proposal has been made in close cooperation with stakeholders in the South Western Waters Regional Advisory Council (SWWRAC).
Last December the Council decided to reopen the anchovy fishery in the Bay of Biscay after a five-year closure with a provisional TAC of 7 000 tonnes.