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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PelAC letter requesting an opportunity to convey PelAC views on Energy tranistion

Following the PelAC virtual workshop on 20 April 2023 on Energy transition in the pelagic sector, the PelAC would greatly appreciate an opportunity to report on these workshop outcomes though a speaking slot during the event on the Energy Transition in the EU fisheries and aquaculture sector organised by the Commission on 16 June 2023.

2023 Letter to COM Commission response
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

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