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New System Improves EU Fisheries Data Access

Sustainability Politics

EU - The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a regulation, upgrading the EU framework for the collection, management and use of the data for fisheries.

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The data is crucial in improving the scientific advice necessary for the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The most promising development is that in the future, data will be easily available to anyone who needs it. Currently, data is obtained only upon request. This creates an unnecessary burden for the research institutes and leaving much of the data underutilized.

The new system will make it easier to achieve optimal levels that allow fish stocks to regenerate, known as Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). The aim is to achieve this for all the stocks fished in EU waters by 2020.

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said: "If our extensive knowledge and data on EU fisheries is not accessible to all, the objective for sustainable management of our resources will not be possible. With this new simplified system, we can reinforce our coordination at regional level, and with existing EU-wide polices".

The simplification process will make data readily available and will remove overlaps with other EU legislation (e.g. with the statistical Regulations).

The scope will be slightly expanded: side-effects of fisheries on the ecosystem will now be recorded, thus facilitating the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

This proposal is the result of extensive consultations with the Member States, the national scientific institutes directly involved in the collection and monitoring of fisheries data and the main data users, such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), but also with NGOs and other interested parties.