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Partnership And Fish Stocks Discussed At Ag Council

EU - At the 3120th meeting of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg earlier this week under the presidency of Marek Sawicki, Minister for Rural Development of Poland, there were discussions on the CAP reform proposals, implementation of the laying hens directive, the fisheries partnership agreement with Guinea Bissau and amendments of fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks.

Main results of the Council

As regards agriculture, ministers had an exchange of views on the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform package, thus initiating in the Council the debate on the future of CAP for the months. to come.

In addition, the Council held a policy debate on the distribution of food products to the most deprived persons in the Union. Ministers could not secure a majority in favour of the Commission proposal.

A qualified majority in favour of a decision on the position of the EU in the framework of the International Organisation for Vine and Wine (OIV) could not be reached.

Finally, the Council was briefed on the implementation of the directive concerning the welfare of laying hens.

Fisheries

Partnership agreement between EU and Guinea Bissau negotiations on renewal

The Council adopted a decision to authorise the Commission to open negotiations on behalf of the EU for the renewal of the protocol to the fisheries partnership agreement with Guinea Bissau.

The existing protocol expired on 15 June 2011. A new Protocol was initialled that would cover a one-year period until 15 June 2012. The Commission services therefore wish to open new negotiations in November 2011.

Amendments of fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks for 2011

The Council adopted an amendment to regulations 57/2011 and 754/2009 as regards the protection of the species 'porbeagle', certain total allowable catches (TACs) and certain fishing effort limits set for the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland (14490/11).

Regulation 57/2011 fixes for 2011 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks applicable in EU waters and, for EU vessels, in certain non-EU waters. Porbeagle is considered by this regulation as a prohibited species in international waters. However considering the possible change in the status of this species under the CITES convention (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) this amendment foresees a consistent protection in some areas within EU waters where porbeagle catches remained unrestricted.

In addition, some provisions of the cod management plan (regulation 1342/2008) establishes an effort regime for this stock which is based on regular data to be provided by member states to the Commission and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). On the basis of the STCEF advice, a specific amendment excludes certain groups of vessels from this fishing effort regime. This amendment implies also a change in regulation 754/2009 regarding the inclusion or exclusion of vessel groups in this plan.

Finally, minor amendments include an upward revision of the TAC for Celtic Sea cod and a technical correction regarding the scope of the temporary fishing restriction in the Porcupine Bank (Norway lobster).

Further Reading

- You can view the full (provisional) report of the Council meeting by clicking here.

the Fish Site Editor

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