Fisheries

Commissioner Vella to push for sustainable Baltic, Mediterranean fisheries at AGRIFISH Council next week

Commissioner Vella to push for sustainable Baltic, Mediterranean fisheries at AGRIFISH Council next week

Commissioner Vella to push for sustainable Baltic, Mediterranean fisheries at AGRIFISH Council next week

07/10/2016

Fisheries ministers will meet during the AGRIFISH Council in Luxembourg on 10-11 October to discuss the Baltic fishing opportunities for 2017. Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, will present the Commission's proposal tabled on 29 August, and urge ministers to set fishing opportunities at sustainable levels. Decisive action is needed, in particular for western cod, which is experiencing a perilous decline. The Commission's proposals are based on the scientific advice received and are in line with the EU's Common Fisheries Policy and the recently adopted Baltic multiannual fisheries management plan.

In addition, the Commissioner will discuss with ministers the annual meeting of intergovernmental fisheries organisation ICCAT, which will take place 14 - 21 November in Portugal. In particular, he will draw attention to the alarming state of Mediterranean swordfish, which is greatly overfished and highlight the need for a recovery plan to reduce

the pressure on the stock. As a major player in this fishery, with around 80% of total catches, the EU has the responsibility to propose effective action to reverse the situation of this emblematic stock. The socio-economic situation of the fisheries confirms the need for urgent action to save jobs. The cost of inaction will mean the loss of over a thousand vessels and thousands of jobs in the next years – with the impact felt mostly by small-scale coastal fisheries. Keeping Mediterranean fish stocks healthy and the Mediterranean fishing industry viable is a priority for Commissioner Vella, who launched a dedicated campaign, #MedFish4Ever, earlier this year.

Finally, Commissioner Vella will also participate in an exchange of views on the EU-Norway annual consultation in the framework of their bilateral fisheries agreement. The first round of consultations with Norway on fisheries arrangements for 2017 will start in early November.

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