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Seafish Analysis of TACs Agreed for 2012

UK - In response to the recent fish quota talks Seafish, the authority on seafood, has produced a summary document showing the Total Allowable Catches (TACs) agreed by the European Union in December 2011 for 2012, compared with the scientific recommendations made by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

In December the EU Council reached agreement on fishing opportunities for 2012 for EU vessels in Union and certain non-Union waters. The Council press release shows TACs for 2012 for the principal stocks, compared with 2011 TACs and the initial Commission proposals for 2012, as set out in September 2011.

"The Council table does not show how these agreed TACs compare with ICES recommendations," said Phil MacMullen, Head of Environmental Responsibility at Seafish.

"We are aware that various comments have been made about whether the EU has followed ICES advice when agreeing these TACs. The Seafish table shows 97 stocks with the agreed TAC, and we've colour-coded them relative to ICES advice.

"Our analysis shows 54 stocks as green - either below or complying exactly with ICES advice; nine stocks yellow - within 10 per cent of ICES advice; six red - more than 10 per cent above ICES advice; and 28 stocks with no colour as we don't have all the information. We have also included an explanation where the agreed TAC does not appear to follow ICES advice.

"On this basis we can say that around 2/3 of TACs follow scientific advice pretty closely. There has been a strong trend over the last few years towards greater compliance, with more TACs being in line with the scientific advice or with less discrepancy from the advice. The processes that lead to TACs being decided seem to be working much better and, when this is combined with the moves to long term and ecosystem-based management, it augers well for the future."

The summary can be found at: /media/publications/SeafishSummary_TACs2012_ICESAdvice_201201.pdf

Lucy Towers

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