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Europe and Central Asia

BirdLife Europe & Central Asia Press Release - 13 July 2017

Finding ‘True North’: Fisheries Committee vote on North Sea Multiannual Plan.

The EU has moved one step closer to the sustainable management of its fisheries in the North Sea. The Fisheries Committee in the European Parliament voted yesterday on its position on how the North Sea demersal fisheries should be managed. The position “fixes” several aspects of the European Commission’s proposal, in particular ensuring that management will be as much about minimizing – and, where possible, eliminating – the impact on the wider environment (such as incidental catches of seabirds) as it is about managing fish stocks.

However, the European Parliament could have been stricter on what is or is not allowed when Member States set quotas. These should not permit more fish to be removed from a population of fish stocks than it can cope with, especially if we are serious about restoring and maintaining populations of fish stocks that deliver the maximum sustainable yield. Allowing for quotas to be set within a range that goes above the scientifically-advised exploitation rate leaves the door open to overfishing.

Bruna Campos, Marine & Fisheries Officer, BirdLife Europe & Central Asia: “Accepting that fishing needs to be managed to save the wider ecosystem will very much help improve populations of seabirds.  However, it is unfortunate that politicians still think it is ok to ignore scientific advice and play around with numbers.”

Based on this report that has been adopted, the European Parliament (through a plenary vote) will now need to give the rapporteur, Ulrike Rodust, the mandate to negotiate with the Estonian Presidency and the European Commission.

For further information, please contact:
Bruna Campos, Birdlife Europe & Central Asia
+32 2 2385099
bruna.campos@birdlife.org