Higher Anchovy Catches Proposed for the Bay of Biscay

Lucy Towers
11 July 2014, at 1:00am

EU - The European Commission has proposed to increase the fishing opportunities of anchovy in the Bay of Biscay by 18 per cent to allow catches of 20,100 tonnes for the period 1 July 2014 - 30 June 2015.

This total allowable catch (TAC) is based on recent scientific advice confirming that the stock is in a good shape and above safe biological limits.

Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, stated: “Anchovy is a good example that it pays off to manage fisheries with a long-term approach and to involve the fishermen to achieve this. Since the anchovy fishery had to be totally closed between 2005 and 2009 to save it from collapse, it is a relief that the stock has recovered over the last four years and that French and Spanish fishermen can go back to fishing more of it after a very tough period”.

Spain and France are the only EU Member States involved in this fishery. The proposed catch limit is in line with the principles set out in the multi-annual anchovy stock management plan tabled in 2009.

Since 2010, when the fishery was re-opened, the Commission has consistently applied this plan which has led to a recovery of the anchovy biomass well above safe biological limits. For this year's TAC, the estimated spawning stock size of about 66,158 tonnes must be formally confirmed by the relevant scientific bodies. In the case that the final figures change, the Commission's proposal will be updated accordingly.