Fisheries

Fishing opportunities for 2016 in Black Sea

Fishing opportunities for 2016 in Black Sea

Fishing opportunities for 2016 in Black Sea

25/11/2015

The Commission has proposed fishing opportunities for 2016 for the Black Sea.

This is the annual proposal for the amount of fish which can be caught by EU fishermen from the main commercial fish stocks next year and it is based on the reformed Common Fisheries Policy and the advice received by the Commission's Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). Member States concerned by the proposals in the Black Sea are Bulgaria and Romania.

The Commission proposes to maintain the EU autonomous quota for sprat at 11 475 tons for the Black Sea. The EU autonomous quotas for sprat are set respectively at 70% for Bulgaria and 30 % for Romania. 

For turbot and dogfish, a zero quota is proposed.  STECF has highlighted that the situation for both turbot and dogfish has been deteriorating progressively in the last years. This is a situation that requires urgent action for both stocks.

STECF has recommended zero catches for the fourth consecutive year for turbot. In previous years Romania and Bulgaria have proposed to increase the controls on catches of turbot to reduce illegal and unreported fishing. Nevertheless, the effort made by both countries has not been sufficient enough to address the severity of the situation and status of the stock.

With respect to dogfish, STECF has recommended zero catches for the third consecutive year due to the fact that the stock continues to face drastic depletion. The Commission has also taken into consideration the fact that the two EU countries account for nearly as much as 50% of catches, and also the fact that elasmobranch species (such as sharks, rays and skates) which include dogfish are important for preserving the overall balance of the marine ecosystem. The proposed measure is also consistent with that adopted for dogfish stock in the Atlantic for 5 consecutive years.

The proposal will now be discussed by EU ministers at the December's Fisheries Council.

Background

The Commission is promoting a regional approach to fisheries management in the Black Sea. In May 2015 , a set of measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in turbot fisheries in the Black Sea as well as a management measures for dogfish in the Black Sea were adopted in the framework of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM). The Commission considers that those measures are necessary but not sufficient to guarantee the sustainability of both species and will continue working on establishing a management plan for turbot in the region in 2016.

TACs and quotas