Fisheries

Coastal States consultations on mackerel in the Northeast Atlantic

Coastal States consultations on mackerel in the Northeast Atlantic

Coastal States consultations on mackerel in the Northeast Atlantic

13/10/2017

The European Commission welcomes the agreement reached on 11 October in London between the European Union, Norway and Faroe Islands on the mackerel fishery in 2018.

The Parties agreed on a long-term strategy for the management of the mackerel fishery for the period up to 2021, which is fully in line with the Common Fisheries Policy objectives to ensure the sustainable exploitation of stocks. On the basis of this long-term management strategy, the Parties agreed to recommend a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 816 797 tons for the 2018 mackerel fishery in the Northeast Atlantic. The EU will benefit from a quota of 402 596 tons.

Additionally, this agreement sets aside quotas for other fishing parties, such as Iceland and Greenland. Parties also agreed on further cooperation in the field of monitoring and control of pelagic fishing activities in the Northeast Atlantic.

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, welcomed the outcome: "The agreement on the long-term management strategy is an important step for the sound management and sustainable exploitation of the mackerel stock. This stock is by far the most economically important stock for the EU fishing industry, and we have agreed to a strategy that is fully in line with the principles of the Common Fisheries Policy, in particular the objective of Maximum Sustainable Yield. We welcome that the decisions for the 2018 TAC were taken on the basis of the best available scientific advice as provided by the International Council on the Exploration of the Seas, ICES. The TAC for 2018 promotes the conservation needs of the stock and seeks stability for the industry."

Besides this three-Party Agreement, two bilateral agreements were signed with Norway on license and management arrangements for the mackerel fishery. These will facilitate and regulate EU fleets' access to Norwegian waters, and vice versa.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy is a key tool in delivering on the global objective of achieving sustainable fisheries that allow both marine life and coastal communities to thrive over the long term. Sustainable fisheries were one of the main topics of the 4th international Our Ocean conference hosted by the European Union in Malta, 5-6 October 2017.