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The main Bluefin Tuna fishing season runs from 26 May to 24 June; this is when large vessels, purse seiners, are allowed to fish for Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic.
The Bluefin tuna fishery is regulated by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to which the EU is a contracting party.
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Commission proposes fishing opportunities, for 2012, for fish stocks under international agreements

Press release - 10/11/2011

The European Commission today presented its proposal for fishing opportunities, for 2012, for fish stocks managed together with third countries such as Norway or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) across the world's oceans.

At this stage, the proposal only contains very few concrete figures, but it will be completed as scientific advice becomes available or annual negotiations with third parties and organisations have taken place.

Commissioner Maria Damanaki, in charge of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "today's proposal concerns the stocks the EU manages with the other parties. In most cases, the negotiations with the third countries haven't been finalised. The Commission will do its utmost to reach the agreements that respect the scientific advice. I strongly hope that our partners and the international community will also show their commitment to sustainable fisheries."

Today's proposal complements the proposal made on 27 September 2011 for fish stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea, for which the EU decides autonomously (IP/11/1081). Both proposals will be discussed at the Fisheries Council meeting in December.

Background

For fish stocks shared with third countries (Norway, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Russia), the European Commission, on behalf of the EU, negotiates towards the end of each year with these countries on the quantities of fish to be caught the following year, based on scientific advice.

For the stocks in international waters and for highly migratory species, such as tuna, the European Commission, representing the EU, negotiates fishing opportunities in the framework of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). These must subsequently be transposed into EU law.