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Wildlife & habitats | 30 July 2020

Let's get the numbers right: What proportion of fish stocks are sustainably managed in the EU?
Wildlife & habitats
Fisheries Policy

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Let's get the numbers right: What proportion of fish stocks are sustainably managed in the EU?

In recent public communications, DG MARE has reported that “in 2020 99% of landings coming from fish stocks managed exclusively by the EU in the Baltic, North Sea and the Atlantic will come from sustainably managed fisheriesThis reporting is misleading and by promoting this narrative, DG MARE offers to decision-makers an excuse to falsely assume that the work of achieving sustainable fisheries in the EU has been mostly done, and that no further measures need to be adopted to tackle overfishing. This puts at risk the future of the many vulnerable stocks not reflected in that statistic, which are still at dangerously low levels, and in dire need of urgent action to rebuild them.

This mini briefing details the reasons why the 99% figure and other elements of DG MARE’s reporting are misleading; and provides recommendations for better reporting on the real state of stocks in the EU.

Links: This briefing is part of a series of 8 briefings about some technical, but important key aspects of TAC-setting. The briefing series is designed to help decision-makers set sustainable TACs in line with science and the law.

Setting Total Allowable Catches (TACs) in the context of the Landing Obligation

Ask the right question, get the right answer: Scientific advice for bycatch or non-targeted stocks that have zero catch advice

What is the ‘best available scientific advice’ for setting Total Allowable Catches (TACs)?

Caution! A TAC-Setter’s Guide to the ‘Precautionary Approach’

How (not) to implement the ecosystem-based approach when setting Total Allowable Catches (TACs)

Linking the law to biological reference points used in scientific advice when setting Total Allowable Catches (TACs)

(Lack of) catch documentation under the landing obligation and how exemptions may defeat rather than prove the rule

For an evaluation of the TACs agreed at December Council for 2015-2020 please refer to ClientEarth’s comprehensive report: Taking stock 2020 – are TACs set to achieve MSY?