Fisheries: catch limits agreed for jack mackerel in the South Pacific
The European Commission is generally satisfied with the outcome of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) Third Preparatory Conference, which just ended in Santiago, Chile.
The renewal of the Interim Measures for the jack mackerel stock for 2012 was the main issue on the agenda. It was agreed to further limit catches to 40% of the 2010 baseline. This is fully in line with the EU position and the scientific advice. The EU overall catch limit was fixed at 27 000 tonnes for 2012, a sharp reduction from 135 000 tonnes in 2010. However, the Commission is concerned with Peru's lack of cooperation. Peru set a unilateral quota for its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which does not comply with the scientific advice and risks to undermine the general effort deployed from all other Participants in the fishery for the conservation and management of the jack mackerel stock.
The SPRFMO Convention will likely enter into force before the end of 2012, allowing the SPRFMO to start working properly at the beginning of 2013. At the moment, all decisions are taken on voluntary basis.