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Common Fisheries Policy | 29th July 2020

Joint NGO response to the Commission consultation on the setting of fishing opportunities for 2021 under the CFP
Common Fisheries Policy
Oceans
Wildlife & habitats

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Joint NGO response to the Commission consultation on the setting of fishing opportunities for 2021 under the CFP

This joint NGO response to the Commission’s consultation on the setting of fishing opportunities for 2021 was co-signed by ClientEarth, Pew Charitable Trusts, Oceana, Seas At Risk, Fisheries Secretariat and Our Fish. In this response, we jointly call on the Commission to propose fishing opportunities for 2021 in line with the requirements and objectives of the CFP, in order to restore and maintain fish populations above biomass levels capable of producing the maximum sustainable yield (MSY).

In previous years our responses often focused on the shortcomings in the Commission’s in part misleadingly positive reporting on the situation of fish stocks and progress towards ending overfishing. While it is important to recognise the long-term progress made, this tendency to present an overly positive picture of the situation remains problematic, since it makes it easier for decision-makers to perpetuate inaction on key issues which they have failed to address so far. In this year’s joint response, we therefore particularly highlight the following key issues which need to be addressed as a priority in order to ensure that all TACs proposed and set for 2021 meet the objectives of the CFP:

  • Too little progress in implementing the CFP through the setting of fishing opportunities, with a large number of stocks remaining in a dire or unknown state
  • A failure to manage data-limited stocks in line with CFP requirements, with scientific advice for such stocks still being largely exceeded and insufficient efforts made to address data gaps
  • A failure to set TACs for vulnerable bycatch stocks in line with scientific advice and to implement effective rebuilding, monitoring and control measures
  • Widespread non-compliance with the landing obligation, which in combination with the setting of TACs based on (or above) catch (rather than wanted catch) advice leads to or exacerbates overfishing.

Since the CFP’s legal MSY deadline for ending overfishing by 2020 passed this year, the fishing opportunities agreed this year for 2021 must respect this deadline, and the broader objective of maintaining and restoring all stocks above levels capable of producing MSY.

Read ClientEarth’s past responses to the Commission’s consultation here:

Joint NGO response to the Commission consultation on the setting of fishing opportunities for 2020 under the CFP

ClientEarth’s response to the Commission communication concerning a consultation on fishing opportunities for 2019 under the CFP

ClientEarth’s response to the Commission communication concerning a consultation on fishing opportunities for 2018 under the CFP

ClientEarth’s response to the Commission communication concerning a consultation on fishing opportunities for 2017 under the CFP

ClientEarth’s response to the Commission communication concerning a consultation on fishing opportunities for 2016 under the CFP

ClientEarth’s response to the Commission communication concerning a consultation on fishing opportunities for 2015 under the CFP

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