The European Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) annual report on the performance of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) brings excellent news for another year on the good progress on the state of EU fish stocks. The scientific report shows a substantial drop in fishing pressure over the period 2003-2018 in the North-East Atlantic. On average, for all the stocks evaluated in this area, fishing pressure has been reduced almost by half in the last 20 years, reaching maximum sustainable yield levels (MSY) for most of them. As a consequence, fish populations have been increasing significantly, reaching in 2018 levels 50% higher than in 2010. However, further efforts are still needed, particularly in the Mediterranean.
The European Commission has launched its annual consultation on the state of fish stocks and the preparation for setting fish quotas for next year marked by the objective to fish all stocks at maximum sustainable yield (MSY1) levels by 2020. The good news is that most of the stocks in the North East Atlantic have already reached this target. However, and despite generalised fishing effort reductions, some fish populations are struggling to rebuild or even to remain at current level. The answer may be found in the latest scientific advices which revealed major challenges in some fisheries caused by the destabilizing effect of the full introduction of the landing obligation and environmental factors such as climate change. The European fishing industry represented by Europêche expresses once again its concern over the stated aim to have all stocks at biomass levels that can produce Maximum Sustainable Yields will prove to be counterproductive, since the production capacity of our sea bas
This was one of the main results from the European Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) annual report1 on the performance of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), particularly concerning the progress towards achieving sustainable fisheries. The scientific report shows that the stock status has significantly improved in the North-East Atlantic with an overall downward trend in the fishing pressure over the period 2003-2017. As a consequence, fish populations have been generally increasing since 2007, reaching in 2017 levels 36% higher than in 2003. However, further efforts are still needed, particularly in the Mediterranean.