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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Social dimension to fisheries management and policy

The joint letter highlights a number of important legal instruments for maritime safety and labour in EU fisheries and underscores the pressing need to ensure all necessary elements are appropriately and rapidly transposed into relevant community and national law, for the benefit of seafarers and their communities. The central tenets of this joint communication, for which we would like to express our strong support.

2021 Letter to COM on social welfare Commission response Commission response (annex)
PelAC request to NSAC and NWWAC to deal with pelagic stocks

PelAC has sent letters to NSAC and NWWAC to request to deal with pelagic stocks in several areas: CFP 1380/2013, ICES sub areas IV and IIIa (Sprat, Norway pout, Greater silver smelt), ICES divisions IVa–c, 6a and Subdivisions 20-22 (Sandeel), ICES subarea VI and areas VIIa-k (sprat), Union waters of ICES areas VI and VII (Greater silver smelt).

The NSAC/NWWAC are currently not issuing advice for these stocks.

We propose that the Pelagic AC covers these stocks informally while awaiting the next reform of the CFP, where Annex III can be amended formally to reflect this change.

2021 Letter to NSAC NSAC response Letter to NWWAC NWWAC response
Fishing opportunities 2022

The Pelagic AC provides recommendations on TACs in 2022 for stocks under its remit.

2021 Fishing opportunities 2022
Rebuilding plan for western Baltic spring spawning herring (WBSS)

For two years running, ICES has advised a zero TAC for the western Baltic herring stock in sub-divisions 20-24. It has been the subject of discussion in our Advisory Councils, both of which advise on this stock.  ICES recently held a Working Group on rebuilding plans (WKREBUILD) from 24th – 28th February 2020. Representatives from both of the Advisory Councils took part. However, the workshop was inconclusive on what kind of approach to take towards rebuilding plans, and it is too early to conclude what the outcome of the work will be. One particular issue highlighted was the need to clarify whether the purpose of rebuilding plans is to focus on the conservation of stocks or on the continuation of a particular fishery.

2020 Rebuilding plan for western Baltic spring spawning herring (WBSS) Commission response
Advice for non-recurrent request to ICES on seismic impacts (by NWWAC and PELAC)

Both ACs consider oil/gas exploration an important sector in European offshore areas contributing to underwater noise. However, the impacts of these activities on fish, shellfish, spawning grounds and larval development, both on the long and short term, remain poorly understood by the scientific community. Both ACs are of firm belief that independent scientific research on seismic impacts is necessary and urgent. We would therefore highly encourage the development of scientific expertise by ICES in this research field, in the form of a non-recurrent request.

2020 NWWAC-PELAC submission for ICES NR request Seismic Commission response
Pelagic AC Opinion on Deep-sea mining activities

The Pelagic AC agrees with the provisions of the resolution on international ocean governance adopted by the European Parliament in January 2018 regarding deep-seabed mining. In addition to scientific concerns, the Pelagic AC supports the European Parliament’s concerns in this respect on its resolution. PELAC has 4 recommendations about this matter.

2020 PELAC opinion Deep-sea mining Commission response
Principles on banking and borrowing

Two issues relating to the implementation and sustainable use of banking and borrowing provisions provided in the CFP and the way these provisions are integrated in the design of long term management plans and underlying scientific analysis.

2020 Principles on banking and borrowing Commission response
Rebuilding plan for western horse mackerel (WHOM)

The purpose of the Western horse mackerel rebuilding plan is to ensure stock recovery to safe biomass levels and a long-term stock exploitation that is consistent with the precautionary approach and with achieving the objective of maximum sustainable yield (MSY).

2020 Letter to Commission on rebuilding plan for Western horse mackerel Annex I rebuilding plan for Western horse mackerel Letter to Commission about report western horse mackerel focus group on harvest control rule evaluations 2020 Annex I report WHOM FG on harvest control rule evaluations 2020 Commission response
Improvement of the cooperation between EFCA and the Advisory Councils

In response to EFCA’s request to the ACs to contribute with ideas on how to strengthen cooperation and on the development of TOR for the Advisory Board meetings, the Baltic AC and the Pelagic AC have made some comments.

2020 BSAC_and PELAC letter to EFCA on Advisory Board
Advice to ICES on impact of marine wind energy development (by NWWAC, PELAC, NSAC)

The NWWAC, NSAC and PELAC have joined forces in a joint Focus Group on impacts from offshore wind farms, to formulate the specific research needs and advice deliverables for a non-recurrent request to ICES.

2020 NWWAC-PELAC-NSAC advice for a non-recurrent request to ICES on the impact of marine wind energy developments on commercial fish stocks Commission response

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