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Northwest Atlantic: important decisions on conservation and enforcement measures for 2020

Northwest Atlantic: important decisions on conservation and enforcement measures for 2020

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Northwest Atlantic: important decisions on conservation and enforcement measures for 2020

03/10/2019

The European Union participated in the 41st Annual Meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO), in Bordeaux, from 23 to 27 September 2019.

All contracting parties focused on ensuring the sustainable management of the key fish stocks in Northwest Atlantic, while maintaining a reasonable predictability for the industry. To this end, the EU took a lead role in finding solutions on important stocks, such as cod, redfish and shrimp in the Flemish Cap, which are of particular importance to the Union.

After nine years of moratorium, the situation of northern shrimp in the Flemish Cap has improved, with an increase in biomass over the last five years. In line with the positive scientific advice, the Commission has agreed to re-open this fishery.

Because of a declining recruitment of the cod stock, the Commission adopted a decrease of the total allowable catch (TAC), complemented by a request to the Scientific Council to review possible technical measures that could further protect and improve the productivity of the stock in the future.

Due to a decline of the redfish stock in the Flemish Cap, the Commission agreed to a progressive decrease in catches by setting lower TACs for 2020 and 2021.

The parties have also agreed on control and enforcement measures, with seven proposals tabled by the EU being adopted. A major step forward is the creation of a dedicated website for all sea and port inspectors. This will allow them to easily exchange information and design efficient inspection strategies for better fisheries control.

The participants at the annual meeting in Bordeaux have adopted an action plan to maintain NAFO's performance at its highest level and further improve its governance to meet its long-term objectives and challenges.