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.