Fishing nets in vibrant colours close up

Commission set to propose 2017 fishing quotas for UK waters

The European Commission will propose 2017 fishing quotas for the North-East Atlantic, including the waters around the UK and Ireland, on Friday.

EU fisheries law says the Commission should use scientific advice to propose quotas at sustainable levels.

For 2017, scientists have recommended reductions of 60% and 22% for plaice and haddock (respectively) in the Irish Sea.

ClientEarth fisheries scientist Liane Veitch said:

“The EU’s Common Fisheries Policy requires fishing to be at sustainable levels by 2020. We are running out of time to meet that deadline, and setting high quotas now will require more painful cuts in the very near future.

“Fishing quotas based on sound science are essential to make fishing sustainable. The Commission must propose catch limits that will protect seas and the industries which depend on them.”

After the Commission makes its proposal, the EU Council of Ministers will agree fishing quotas for 2017 in their meeting on the 12th and 13th December 2016.

The Council is bound to follow EU fisheries law, but historically has set quotas higher than scientists recommended and the Commission proposed.

For 2016, the Commission’s proposal was broadly in line with scientific advice, but the Council of Ministers set fishing limits far higher for many stocks, including plaice and haddock in the Irish Sea.

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Kevin Friery