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EU cuts deep-sea fishing quotas for 2019-20

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EU cuts deep-sea fishing quotas for 2019-20

Fishing boat

(BRUSSELS) - EU fisheries ministers agreed Monday on the total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for certain deep-sea stocks in the EU and international waters in the North-East Atlantic, for 2019 and 2020.

The fish stocks concerned are: deep sea sharks, black scabbardfish, alfonsino, roundnose grenadier and red seabream.

The proposed regulation on fishing opportunities for certain deep-sea stocks sets the catch limitations for EU fishing fleets for the commercially most important deep-sea species in the Union and international waters of the North-East Atlantic.

Deep-sea stocks are caught in waters beyond the main fishing grounds of continental shelves. They account for about 1% of all fish caught in the North-East Atlantic.

Citing the vulnerability of deep-sea species to human activity, and in order to prevent their over-exploitation, the Council decided to raise the TACs for the two stocks and to reduce the TACs for ten stocks as proposed by the Commission.

"The sustainability of fish stocks and the viability of the EU's fisheries industry are key criteria when it comes to setting catch limits," said Austrian minister Elisabeth Koestinger: "Today we decided to make cuts to fishing opportunities for deep-sea stocks in 2019 and 2020. This will protect our maritime environment and help our industry in the longer term."

The Council confirmed the Commission proposal to increase quotas for red seabream around the Azores and roundnose grenadier in South Western waters over the next two years, in line with positive scientific advice.

Given the small number of fish being caught and in line with the scientific advice, the TAC management system for greater forkbeard in the North-East Atlantic, roundnose grenadier in the North Sea and black scabbardfish in the North Sea and Skagerrak was cancelled. Fishing for orange roughy remains prohibited.

Following finalisation by the legal/linguistic experts, the agreement will be submitted for final adoption without discussion at a forthcoming Council meeting. The regulation will apply as from 1 January 2019.

Proposal for a Regulation fixing for 2019-20 the fishing opportunities for certain deep-sea stocks

Management of the EU's fish stocks

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