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Parliamentary question - E-000609/2018(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission

The Commission uses independent scientific advice by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) for proposing management measures on Seabass.

ICES states that there are two separate stocks and they produce separate advice for the two stocks either side of the 48th parallel[1],[2]. The advice for the Bay of Biscay is more positive than the Northern stock, reporting increases in the biomass. Landings are less than the precautionary level in the latest ICES advice. There is no evidence in the ICES advice that the stock is in decline. Around 97% of commercial landings are by French vessels which are managed by a national quota. There is no evidence in the ICES advice that the Bay of Biscay stock is not being managed at a sustainable level by this national quota system.

That said, the ICES advice for the Bay of Biscay reports that ‘Recreational fisheries are likely to contribute substantially to fishery removals in some areas’, but these catches could not be quantified. As such, it was felt prudent to reduce recreational catches to a 3 fish bag limit.

Last updated: 18 April 2018
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