28 Jun 2016
AGRICULTURE COUNCIL RESULTS – 27 JUNEBrussels Daily
Agriculture Council – read full results here
External fishing fleets
The Council reached agreement on a general approach on the sustainable management of the external fishing fleets. The proposal aims to modernise and simplify the current framework for the management of authorisations granted to EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, and of authorisations granted to third country fishing vessels operating in EU waters. It also addresses key issues such as abusive reflagging and private fishing arrangements of EU fleets outside EU waters. The Council general approach focuses on technical improvements, simplified administrative procedures and better alignment with the control regulation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
“The Council text increases the transparency of external fishing activities and will make it more difficult to circumvent the CFP rules, while limiting administrative burdens.”
Martijn van Dam, Dutch minister for agriculture and President of the Council
Fishing opportunities for 2017
Ministers were briefed on a Commission communication on fishing opportunities for 2017.
Member states generally welcomed the communication, acknowledged the overall improvement in the state of fish resources and stressed the need to improve the communication on the efforts undertaken in the EU to reduce the level of fishing.
Some delegations expressed their support in reaching maximum sustainable yield (MSY) by 2017 for as many stocks as possible, while being ready to consider socio-economic aspects when needed. Some others highlighted that the implementation of the landing obligation could be problematic in the near future, in particular with regard to choke species.
The fishing opportunities for 2017, on which the Council will have to reach agreement by the end of the year, will be fixed under the objectives of the 2014 CFP and based on independent scientific advice. Under the CFP, the fishing pressure on stocks should be aligned to the MSY objective as soon as possible and by 2020 at the latest. This will help to ensure the achievement of good environmental status in European seas and reduce the impact of fishing on the marine ecosystem.