|PelAC letter on the Coastal States sharing status for the Northeast Atlantic mackerel stock|
The PelAC fully supports the European Commission’s commitment and efforts to find a rational sharing arrangement between all involved Coastal States for the Northeast Atlantic mackerel stock, but once again, observes the real risk of parties persisting with the setting of excessive unilateral quotas, which would lead to another year of catches exceeding the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) that has been set in line with scientific advice for 2023. The PelAC again underlines its deep concerns regarding the consequences of other parties maintaining these potentially repeated irresponsible decisions, that run contrary to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and particularly the 1995 Straddling Stocks Agreement, effectively deeming this approach IUU fishing.
| 2023|| Letter to COM Commission Response|
|PelAC letter on the benchmark meeting for western horse mackerel in 2023|
In this letter the PelAC underlines the importance that the terms of reference of the benchmark clarifies the organization and assignment of individuals to carry out the various tasks detailed in our action plan for Western horse mackerel in particular. Furthermore, the PelAC notes that the horse mackerel assessments currently do not include genetic information related to stock identification.
| 2023|| Letter to COM Annex I Commission Response|
|NWWAC/PelAC joint letter regarding the OREDP II Advisory Group|
Following the successful joint NWWAC/PelAC Briefing on the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 on 19 January, the NWWAC in conjunction with the PelAC, request with this letter to be included in the relevant stakeholder working groups on this topic in Ireland.
| 2023|| Letter NWWAC PelAC|
|PelAC response on the Multiannual Plans for the North Sea and the Western Waters|
The PelAC informed the Commission that after a discussion at the Working Group II meeting held on 22 February in Utrecht, the PelAC members concluded that it was not within the competence of the PelAC to submit a response to this specific consultation, since the pelagic species covered by the MAPs fall outside of the PelAC’s remit.
| 2023|| Letter to COM Request by COM|
|Call on the EC to support the ACs work|
The Advisory Councils called on the European Commission to support their work on attracting new members by increasing the visibility of ACs as well as promoting their achievements. The ACs collectively feel there is a role for the Commission to play, and that efforts in this regard could be strengthened.
| 2023|| Letter to COM|
|Call for urgent benchmark meeting for Western horse mackerel in 2023|
PelAC requests an ICES (inter) benchmark meeting in 2023 that is jointly dedicated to the three horse mackerel stocks (Western, Southern and North Sea) combined, in order to secure an updated evaluation of the PelAC rebuilding plan for Western horse mackerel, as well as enable timely preparations of the negotiations for 2024 TACs.
| 2022|| Letter to COM Commission Response|
|PelAC contribution to call for evidence for energy transition in the fisheries and aquaculture sector|
Regarding the Commission’s call for evidence for the initiative on “Energy transition in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors” the PelAC embraces the emphasis placed by the Commission on multi-stakeholder consultation, and its intent to feed the input from stakeholders into the strategy and roadmap. The PelAC is keen to contribute to these developments and underlines the importance of securing engagement with stakeholders throughout the entire process.
The PelAC intends to deliver detailed input following a workshop foreseen in April 2023, which sets out to address the implications of energy transition in the pelagic fleet.
| 2022|| Letter to COM|
|Physical attendance of designated ICES representatives to at least one key meeting of PelAC on an annual basis|
The PelAC would like to underline its appreciation for ICES’s efforts throughout the years for delivering key presentations on the advice for the stocks under its remit, which forms an essential basis for the subsequent formulation of PelAC recommendations to the European Commission and Member States. However, based on experiences the PelAC cannot over-emphasize its conviction that in-person participation to our meetings by ICES would strongly benefit the interaction between ICES and stakeholders, as well as the quality of the discussion. Therefore PelAC kindly reiterates its request to ICES to review its travel policy and enable the physical attendance of designated ICES representatives to both but at least one of the key meetings on an annual basis.
| 2022|| Letter to ICES|
|Call for acceptance rebuilding plan Western horse mackerel in bilateral discussions EU-UK|
The rebuilding plan for Western horse mackerel was finalized by Pelagic AC and submitted to the Commission in 2020. This rebuilding plan was evaluated by ICES in 2021 and deemed precautionary.
The recent ICES advice for this stock (published on 30 September 2022) recommends zero catches in 2023. This advice reflects the urgent need to step up efforts in adopting this plan as soon as possible. The purpose of the rebuilding plan is to ensure stock recovery to safe biomass levels as well as a long-term stock exploitation with the objective of achieving MSY. The PelAC would be grateful if the Commission could pursue, as a matter of urgency, the acceptance of the rebuilding plan for this stock in its negotiations with the UK during the next meeting of the Specialized Committee on Fisheries (SCF) organized by the end of October.
| 2022|| Letter to COM|
|Joint NWWAC/PelAC advice on the impacts of underwater noise and offshore wind energy developments on commercial fisheries|
In 2020 the North Western Waters AC and the Pelagic AC embarked on developing advice to the European Commission on the impact of seismic and wind energy developments. The Advisory Councils are pleased to jointly submit this follow-up advice following the successful conclusion of their joint workshop held this year.
On both the European and the international level it is yet unclear to what extent (potential cumulative) effects of offshore wind energy developments on fishing areas, for example spawning grounds, nursery areas, or important habitats for fish stocks, are taken into account in a cross-border context, as policy, research and mitigation appear not to be streamlined.
We are at a time where renewable energy can help us to mitigate effects of climate change, however, this comes hand-in-hand with new ecological risks and pressures on already heavily environmentally impacted busy seas with other pressure factors taking place such as underwater noise.
| 2022|| Letter to COM Commission response|