Almost all important stocks and fisheries are managed by means of a multiannual plan. The plans contain the goal for fish stock management, expressed in terms of fishing mortality and/or targeted stock size. Some plans also provide for a detailed and tailor-made roadmap for achieving the objective. Some multiannual plans include fishing effort restrictions as an additional instrument to the annual total allowable catches (TACs), and specific control rules.
Multiannual plans under the new CFP will include the target of fishing at maximum sustainable yield and a deadline for achieving this target. They will also contain measures for the implementation of the landing obligation. They should also contain safeguards for remedial action where needed, and review clauses, among others. Multiannual plans may also include technical measures.
Commission's proposals on establishing multi-annual plans
On 3 August 2016 the Commission proposed a multi-annual plan for demersal fish stocks in the North Sea. The proposal covers demersal fish stocks, i.e. fish that live and feed near the bottom of the sea, and aims to ensure that stocks are fished at sustainable levels. It will also bring decision-making closer to fishermen. The new North Sea plan is the first comprehensive plan for this sea basin. It is the second multi-annual plan adopted in line with the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) that came into force in January 2014.
In February 2017 the Commission proposed a multi-annual plan for small pelagic stocks in the Adriatic Sea.
In March 2018 the Commission proposed a multi-annual plan for the fisheries exploiting demersal stocks in the western Mediterranean Sea and a multi-annual plan for fish stocks in the western waters.
Proposals for Regulations of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing multi-annual plans for the management of demersal fisheries in western EU waters
Agreed: February 2004, revised November 2008, revised in 2016.
Areas covered: ICES III, IV, VIa, VIIa and VIId.
Target: originally, to increase the quantities of mature fish to sustainable levels; now, to reduce fishing mortality to rate which can maximise long-term sustainable yield.
Regulation (EU) 2016/2094 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 November 2016 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1342/2008 establishing a long-term plan for cod stocks and the fisheries exploiting those stocks
Agreed: April 2004.
Areas covered: Kattegat, Skagerrak, North Sea, the Channel, West of Scotland, all around Ireland and Bay of Biscay.
Target: increase the quantities of mature fish in the Northern hake stock to at least 140 000 tonnes.
Agreed: 20 December 2005.
Areas covered: Cantabrian Sea and Western Iberian Peninsula.
Target: increase the spawning stock biomass of Southern hake to 35 000 tonnes for two consecutive years. For Norway lobster, rebuild stocks to within safe biological limits.
Agreed: 23 February 2006.
Areas covered: Bay of Biscay (ICES VIIIa and VIIIb).
Target: bring spawning stock biomass to above the precautionary level of 13 000 tonnes in 2008.
Specific conditions: vessels catching more than 2 000 kg of sole per year will require a special permit. A ceiling is set of 100 kg of sole per sea trip.
Agreed: 7 May 2007.
Areas covered: Western Channel (ICES VIIe).
Target: reduce fishing mortality rate by 20 % compared to the average of 2003-2005 or achieve a fishing mortality rate of 0.27 for appropriate age groups – whichever is the higher.
Agreed: 11 June 2007.
Area covered: North Sea.
Target: ensure precautionary biomass for plaice of 230 000 tonnes and for sole of 35 000 tonnes by gradually reducing fishing mortality on sole from its current level of 0.35 to 0.2 and on plaice from 0.58 to 0.3.
Agreed: 18 September 2007.
Area covered: EU estuaries and rivers that flow into seas in ICES areas III, IV, VI, VII, VIII, IX and the Mediterranean.
Target: national eel management plans should enable at least 40 % of the level of adult eels, which in the absence of fishing and other human activity would migrate, to be able to escape to the sea to spawn.
Agreed: 18 September 2007. Replaced by 12. Multiannual plan for the stocks of cod, herring and sprat in the Baltic Sea
Area covered: ICES SD 22-32.
Target: ensure sustainable exploitation by gradually reducing and maintaining mortality rates no lower than 0.6 for cod between 3 and 6 years in the Western Baltic and 0.3 for cod between 4 and 7 years in the Eastern Baltic.
Special conditions: exclusion of small-scale vessels below 8m. Flexibility for effort management for small-scale vessels between 8 and 12 metres in length.
Agreed: 18 December 2008.
Area covered: international and EU waters in ICES zones Vb and VIb, and the northern part of ICES zone VIa excluding the Clyde.
Target: to reduce fishing mortality to rate which can maximise long-term sustainable yield. Target fishing mortality rate of 0.25 when stock is over 75 000 tonnes, and 0.2 when stock is between 75 000 and 50 000 tonnes. Closure triggered when stock falls below 50 000 tonnes. Rate of year-on-year changes in TAC varies with level of stock.
Regulation (EU) No 2016/1627 of the European Parliament and of the Coulcil of 14 September 2016 on a multiannual recovery plan for bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 302/2009
Council Regulation (EC) No 302/2009 of 6 April 2009 concerning a multiannual recovery plan for bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, amending Regulation (EC) No 43/2009 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1559/2007
Regulation (EU) 2016/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 establishing a multiannual plan for the stocks of cod, herring and sprat in the Baltic Sea and the fisheries exploiting those stocks, amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2187/2005 and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1098/2007