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Fisheries Council Discusses Future Opportunities

EU - The Agriculture and Fisheries Council will meet in Luxembourg today, under the presidency of Mr Sandor Fazekas, Hungarian Minister of Rural Development.

Maritime Affairs & Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli and Agriculture & Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Cioloş will represent the Commission at the meeting.

The Fisheries points will be dealt with in the morning, followed by a press conference. In the afternoon, ministers will continue the meeting on the Agriculture points with a second press conference at the end of the meeting.

Consultation on Fishing Opportunities for 2011

The Council will hold an exchange of views on the Commission's Communication on Fishing Opportunities for 2012, published on 25 May (IP/11/638). In parallel to the discussions at Council, a consultation of stakeholders and the public is running until 1 September on the Commission's website.

The Communication sets out how the Commission intends to act on the scientific advice it receives about the state of fish stocks when proposing catch limits and quotas for the next year fish stocks. The document outlines the state of the stocks, and highlights the Commission's continued commitment to long-term plans management and to fishing management in accordance with scientific advice.

The Communication also includes, for stocks for which no long-term plans have yet been proposed, the intention to base TAC (Total Allowable Catches) proposals on a new form of scientific advice developed by ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) in 2010. The aim is to achieve the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) by 2015, as agreed in World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002.

Furthermore, the Communication indicates the Commission's intention to apply a 25 per cent reduction in TAC when no or incomplete scientific advice is available.

Another new element introduced by the Communication is the intention to present two Commission proposals this year (splitting the current TAC and quotas proposal): one on internal stocks and another one on shared and international stocks. The first formal proposal will be submitted to Council in September, the second formal proposal in November. Commission proposals for the Baltic and the Black Sea will be submitted to Council in September and November, respectively.

the Fish Site Editor

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