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Commission proposes a 30% cut on anchovy catches in Bay of Biscay

Press release - 17/7/2012

The European Commission has proposed a total allowable catch (TAC) of 20 700 tonnes of anchovy in the Bay of Biscay for the fishing season 1 July 2012 - 30 June 2013, representing a reduction of 30% compared to the previous season.

According to the latest scientific advice on which the proposal is based, the stock remains well above safe biological limits, but its size – 68 180 tonnes – has decreased compared to last year's record-high levels. Anchovy is a species that can experience large variations from one year to the other due to its short life span and its dependency on environmental conditions for growth. Spain and France are the only Member States involved in this fishery.

The catch limit proposed results from a formula that determines the maximum tonnage that can be fished in a given year as a function of the size of the stock. It has been applied since 2010 and was developed by the Commission in close cooperation with the industry and the Member States concerned to ensure long-term stability. The stock size used in the proposal is a preliminary estimate that must be formally confirmed by the relevant scientific bodies. Should this figure change, the Commission's proposal will be updated accordingly.