Advice and Recommendations

The Pelagic AC provides credible, scientific, and consensus-based advice to inform pelagic fisheries policy, both upon the request of the European Commission and Member States, and on its own initiative. All advice and recommendations are developed and approved by the members of the Pelagic AC. 

Our advice — and responses to it — may be accessed below.

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Revision of Control Regulation

The Commission has revised the Control Regulation in light of the Lisbon Treaty. This results in the introduction of a new division between delegated acts, which appear to have been prioritised in the current proposal, and implementing acts in the Regulation, which did not exist before. The Pelagic AC members are of the view that reporting, monitoring and control requirements shall be harmonized across the EU in order to ensure a level-playing field and guarantee a fair treatment for all fishers.

2019 Recommendation Control Regulation proposal Commission response
Request clarification on correct interpretation of catch composition rules

The Pelagic AC wishes for clarification on the use of the maximum percentages as the landing obligation requires all TAC and quota species to be landed. The question arises what specific purpose the catch composition rules serve in light of the landing obligation?

2019 Request clarification on correct interpretation of the catch composition rules Commission response
Request for setup ICES wg (investigation impacts of seismic activities spawning grounds)

Oil/gas exploration, wind farm construction and cabling are an important development in European offshore areas and the continuous growth of these sectors is to be expected. Pelagic AC is concerned over these potential impacts given the importance of spawning grounds for the health of the stocks under the Pelagic AC remit (notably, herring). The Pelagic AC is of firm belief that independent scientific research regarding the impacts are necessary and urgent.

2019 Request for setup ICES working group to investigate impacts of seismic activitities (herring) spawning grounds Response EC on request ICES working group on underwater noise Request to EC DG ENV To COM for setup ICES wg Underwater Noise
Request for evaluation monitoring TAC Celtic Sea herring

The Celtic Sea Herring is a category one ICES assessment supported by a long time series of catch at age and an acoustic survey that has been conducted since 2002. The fishery is exploited by two separate fleets with the majority of the catch taken by trawlers operating primarily in division 7.g. A sentinel fleet of smaller vessels is allocated 11% of the total TAC and operates in division 7.aS. An inter–benchmark assessment was carried out in 2018, which focussed on the use of the acoustic survey tuning index in the assessment and the revision of the stock reference points. In order to support future stock assessments, it would be beneficial to permit a level of catch that would maintain an uninterrupted time series of fishery-dependent catch data.

2019 Request monitoring TAC Celtic Sea herring Response EC Monitoring TAC Celtic Sea herring
Consistency in the wording of de minimis exemptions in discard plans

Pelagic AC raises an issue with regard to the de minimis exemptions for horse mackerel and mackerel in the North Western Waters discard plan for the period 2019-2021 and to highlight the perceived inconsistency in the details of the implementation fo the landing obligations between this plan and for certain demersal fisheries in the North Sea Plan for the period of 2019-2021.

2019 Consistency in the wording of de minimis exemptions in discard plans Commission response Commission response (annex) PELAC explanatory note TAC reductions de minimis calculations
Request ICES guidelines for rebuilding plans and follow-up 6a herring recovery plan

Over the past two years Pelagic AC has worked on the development of a rebuilding plan for 6a, 7b, c herring. Pelagic AC was very dissapointed by the final decision of ACOM by concluding the plan could not be evaluated because of an apparent lack of resources. While HAWG evlauated the plan  and concluded that the “revised plan had successfully addressed the shortfalls identified in the ICES advice from November 2017 and found that the revised plan was consistent with the ICES MSY advice rule.

2019 Request ICES guidelines for rebuilding plans and follow-up 6a herring recovery plan Commission response
Request for revised NEA mackerel catch advice for 2019

The recent ICES inter-benchmark assessment of North East Atlantic mackerel and the considerable change in the perception of the stock that has resulted from this process, Pelagic AC asks that the European Commission requests ICES to revise the 2019 catch advice for NEA mackerel.

2019 Request for revised mackerel advice Commission response
Revision of the Technical Measures Regulation

Concerns on impossilbe obligation to fish small pelagic mackerel with an 80mm mesh sieze in the North Sea and 100mm in Western Waters.

2019 Revision Technical Measures regulation Commission response
Fishing opportunities for 2020

The Pelagic AC provides recommendations on TACs in 2020 for stocks under its remit.

2019 Fishing opportunities 2020
TACs pelagic stocks 2006 2005 0509 Recommendations TACs 06

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