Skip to content

Select your location.

It looks like your location does not match the site. We think you may prefer a ClientEarth site which has content specific to your location. Select the site you'd like to visit below.

English (USA)

Location successfully changed to English (Global)

Follow us

Support us Opens in a new window Donate
Return to mob menu

Search the site

Fisheries Policy | 30 July 2020

Setting Total Allowable Catches (TACs) in the context of the Landing Obligation
Fisheries Policy
Wildlife & habitats
Fisheries & Seafood

PDF | 176 kb

Download Item

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

The phasing in of the Landing Obligation between 2015 and 2019 has been associated with a change from setting ‘Total Allowable Catches’ (TACs) based on landings (reflecting that unwanted catches would be discarded) to setting them based on catches (assuming that all catches, unless subject to exemptions, would now be landed). However, despite the Landing Obligation having fully come into force in 2019, it is widely recognised that compliance remains poor.

This mini-briefing explains why the approach of setting TACs based on catch (rather than landings) advice in the absence of full compliance will lead to, or exacerbate, overfishing, since discards on top of the catch-based TACs continue. In conclusion, decision-makers need to ensure full compliance (for example through the use of REM) if they are to continue basing TACs on catch advice, or develop a way of accounting for non-compliance in TAC-setting and/or the allocation of TAC shares to vessels.

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.

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

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?