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Total Allowable Catches Set for EU Deep-Sea Fish Stocks

Sustainability Politics

GLOBAL - The European Commission has proposed fishing opportunities for the deep-sea fish stocks in EU and international waters of the North-East Atlantic for 2013-2014, writes Lucy Towers, The Fish Site Editor.

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Following scientific advice, total allowable catches (TACs) for three stocks have been increased, 13 stocks have been decreased and eight remain the same.

In waters west of the British Isles, the roundnose grenadier TAC has been increased by 77 per cent to 4,500 tonnes

The TACs for two black scabbard fish stocks, West of Scotland/Ireland will also increase by 20 and five per cent, respectively.

Red seabream and blue ling have had their TACs reduced by 20 per cent in all areas.

European Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said: "To preserve the deep-sea fishery, we need to follow the scientific advice, and not overexploit these vulnerable species. Still, three of the stocks seem to be on the path towards recovery and MSY levels. We have a clear management objective: a long-term sustainable use of these stocks."

However, ocean conservation group, Oceana considers the proposal to be insufficient to guarantee the responsible exploitation of these species and urges greater efforts to be made to improve their management.

Oceana stated that the Commission went against scientific advice by keeping some roundnose grenadier, blue ling and red seabream stocks open.

Due to their biological characteristics, like low reproduction, slow growth rate and late maturity, deep sea species are highly vulnerable to overexploitation, stated Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe. Their management must, now more than ever, follow the precautionary approach.

In feed news, the USDA released its latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. The report forecasts 2012/13 US soybean production at 2.860 billion bushels. This estimate is up 226 million due to higher harvested area and yield.

Projected prices for soybeans have dropped this month. The US season-average soybean price range for 2012/13 is projected at $14.25 to $16.25 per bushel, down $0.75.