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Procedure : 2006/0002(CNS)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0265/2006

Texts tabled :

A6-0265/2006

Debates :

PV 27/09/2006 - 14
CRE 27/09/2006 - 14

Votes :

PV 28/09/2006 - 7.2
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2006)0383

Texts adopted
PDF 133kWORD 87k
Thursday, 28 September 2006 - Strasbourg Final edition
The exploitation of North Sea plaice and sole *
P6_TA(2006)0383A6-0265/2006

European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a management plan for fisheries exploiting stocks of plaice and sole in the North Sea (COM(2005)0714 – C6-0034/2006 – 2006/0002(CNS))

(Consultation Procedure)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2005)0714)(1) ,

–   having regard to Article 37 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0034/2006),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A6-0265/2006),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

3.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Calls for initiation of the conciliation procedure under the Joint Declaration of 4 March 1975 if the Council intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

5.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

6.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Recital 6
(6)  The objective of the management plan should be to ensure exploitation of North Sea plaice and sole that provides sustainable economic, environmental and social conditions .
(6)  The objective of the management plan should be to restore stocks of North Sea plaice and sole to the precautionary level .
Amendment 21
Recital 6 a (new)
(6a) Consequently, in drawing up the management plan, account should also be taken of the fact that the high fishing mortality rate for plaice is due to a great extent to the large discard from beam-trawl sole fishing with 80 mm nets in the southern parts of the North Sea.
Amendment 3
Recital 7
(7)  Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 requires inter alia that to achieve the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy, the Community is to apply the precautionary approach in taking measures to protect and conserve stocks, to provide for their sustainable exploitation and to minimise the impact of fishing on marine ecosystems. The Community aims at a progressive implementation of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management, which contributes to efficient fishing activities within an economically viable and competitive fisheries industry. The present Regulation should aim at providing a fair standard of living for those who depend on fishing plaice and sole in the North Sea taking into account the interests of consumers.
(7)  Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 requires inter alia that to achieve the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy, the Community is to apply the precautionary approach in taking measures to protect and conserve stocks, to provide for their sustainable exploitation and to minimise the impact of fishing on marine ecosystems. The Community aims at a progressive implementation of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management, which contributes to efficient fishing activities within an economically viable and competitive fisheries industry. The present Regulation should aim at providing a fair standard of living for those who depend on fishing plaice and sole in the North Sea taking into account the interests of consumers. The Community should base its policy partly on the policy recommended by the appropriate Regional Advisory Council (RAC).
Amendment 4
Recital 10 a (new)
(10a) In 2006 the Commission will initiate a debate concerning a Community strategy for a gradual reduction in fishing mortality in all major fisheries by means of a communication concerning the attainment of the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) objective by 2015. The Commission will submit this communication to the RACs for their opinion.
Amendment 5
Recital 10 b (new)
(10b) Any legislative proposal by the Commission should be preceded by an impact assessment that is based on accurate, objective and comprehensive biological and financial information; that impact assessment should be annexed to the Commission's proposal before 1 January 2007.
Amendment 22
Recital 10 c (new)
(10c) This Regulation does not set any limits on the use of beam trawls in fishing for plaice and sole in the North Sea. However, there is a need to reduce the potential negative consequences of the use of beam trawls on ecosystems and the marine environment. Accordingly, immediately after the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission should carry out a study of the impact of beam trawl fishing on ecosystems and the marine environment in the areas where this fishing method is used and of the alternative fishing methods for beam trawl fishing that are sustainable in economic, ecological and social terms. On the basis of that study, an action plan should be drawn up for the gradual phasing-out of fishing methods and gear which have a negative impact on ecosystems and the marine environment in favour of lower-impact fishing methods and gear,
Amendment 7
Article 2
1.  The management plan shall ensure the sustainable exploitation of the stocks of plaice and sole in the North Sea.
1.  The management plan shall ensure that, in so far as the stocks of plaice and sole in the North Sea are not already at the precautionary level, they reach that level again .
2.  The objective provided for in paragraph 1 shall be attained while maintaining the fishing mortality rate on plaice in the North Sea at a rate equal to or no lower than 0.3.
2.  That objective shall be attained by gradually reducing the fishing mortality rate for these stocks.
3.  The objective provided for in paragraph 1 shall be attained while maintaining the fishing mortality rate on sole in the North Sea at a rate equal to or no lower than 0.2.
Amendment 8
Article 3, paragraph 1
1.  Each year, the Council shall decide, by qualified majority on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, on the Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for the following year for the stocks of plaice and sole in the North Sea.
1.  The Council shall decide, by qualified majority on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, on the Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for a period of 3 years for the stocks of plaice and sole in the North Sea.
Amendment 9
Article 3 a (new)
Article 3a
Legislative measures and three-yearly decisions on TACs
1.  When the ICES assessment shows that the spawning stock biomass has returned to the precautionary level or a higher level, the Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission, shall adopt a decision by qualified majority concerning:
(a) a target level for fishing mortality in the long term;
and
(b) a percentage for the reduction of fishing mortality which must be applied until the level of fishing mortality referred to in point (a) has been attained.
2.  On the basis of the target figures and a scientific ex-post assessment, the Council shall decide a TAC for plaice and sole stocks for three years at a time.
Amendment 24
Article 4
1.  The Council shall set the TAC for plaice at that level which, according to a scientific evaluation carried out by Scientific Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), is the higher of the following:
1.  If the spawning stock biomass of plaice is estimated by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), on the basis of the latest ICES report, to be less than the precautionary level of 230 000 tons, the Council shall set a TAC for a period of 3 years. This shall be set in such a manner that, according to the STECF's estimate, there is a reasonable likelihood that stocks will be restored to the precautionary level in 3 years.
(a) that TAC whose application would result in a 10 % reduction in the fishing mortality rate in its year of application compared to the fishing mortality rate estimated for the preceding year;
(b) that TAC whose application would result in a fishing mortality rate of 0.3 on ages 2 to 4 in its year of application.
2.   Where the application of paragraph 1 would result in a TAC which exceeds the TAC of the preceding year by more than 15 %, the Council shall set a TAC which is 15 % greater than the TAC of that year.
2.  If this leads to a reduction of more than 15% in the multiannual TAC, the Council shall decide to implement the reduction in stages, so that the differences between years do not exceed 15%.
3.  Where the application of paragraph 1 would result in a TAC which is more than 15 % less than the TAC of the preceding year, the Council shall set a TAC which is 15 % less than the TAC of that year.
3.  If this leads to an increase of more than 15 %, a maximum increase of 15 % shall be decided.
Amendment 11
Article 5
1.  The Council shall set a TAC for sole at that level which, according to a scientific evaluation carried out by STECF, is the higher of the following:
1.  If the spawning stock biomass of sole is estimated by the STECF, on the basis of the latest ICES report, to be less than the precautionary level of 35 000 tons, the Council shall set a TAC for a period of 3 years. This shall be set in such a manner that, according to the STECF's estimate, there is a reasonable likelihood that stocks will be restored to the precautionary level in 3 years.
(a) that TAC whose application would result in the same proportionate change in the fishing mortality rate on sole as is generated by the application of Article 4(1) concerning plaice;
(b) that TAC whose application would result in a fishing mortality rate of 0.2 in its year of application;
(c) that TAC whose application would result in a 10% reduction in the fishing mortality rate in its year of application compared to the fishing mortality rate estimated for the preceding year.
2.   Where the application of paragraph 1 would result in a TAC which exceeds the TAC of the preceding year by more than 15%, the Council shall set a TAC which is 15% greater than the TAC of that year.
2.  If this leads to a reduction of more than 15% in the multiannual TAC, the Council shall decide to implement the reduction in stages, so that the differences between years do not exceed 15%.
3.  Where the application of paragraph 1 would result in a TAC which is more than 15% less than the TAC of the preceding year, the Council shall set a TAC which is 15% less than the TAC of that year.
3.  If this leads to an increase of more than 15%, a maximum increase of 15% shall be decided.
Amendment 12
Article 6, paragraph 2
2.  Each year, the Council shall decide by a qualified majority, on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, on the maximum number of days at sea available for Community fishing vessels deploying beam trawl gear of mesh size equal to or greater than 80 mm and subject to the system of fishing effort limitation referred to in paragraph 1.
2.  For each year of the three-year period , the Council shall decide by a qualified majority, on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, on the maximum number of days at sea (calculated in kilowatt-days) available for Community fishing vessels fishing for plaice or sole or catching them as by-catch and subject to the system of fishing effort limitation referred to in paragraph 1.
Amendment 13
Article 6, paragraph 3
3.  The annual adjustment of the maximum number of days referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article shall be in the same proportion as the annual adjustment in fishing mortality rate provided for in accordance with Article 5(1).
3.  The maximum number of days referred to in paragraph 2 shall be related to the reductions in the fishing mortality rate provided for by the multiannual TACs decided on by the Council.
Amendment 14
Article 6, paragraph 4 a (new)
4a. In adopting the management plan, the Council shall decide that Community fishing vessels which are used for demersal fishing for flatfish should no longer be subject to the days-at-sea rules provided for by the recovery plan for cod.
Amendment 15
Article 8, paragraph 1
1.  By way of derogation from Article 5(2) of Regulation (EEC) No 2807/83, the permitted margin of tolerance, in estimation of quantities in kilograms live weight retained on board of Community fishing vessels that have been present in the North Sea shall be 8% of the figure entered in the logbook. In the event that no conversion factor is laid down in Community legislation, the conversion factor adopted by the Member State whose flag the vessel is flying shall apply.
1.  By way of derogation from Article 5(2) of Regulation (EEC) No 2807/83, the permitted margin of tolerance, in estimation of quantities in kilograms live weight retained on board of Community fishing vessels that have been present in the North Sea shall be 10% of the figure entered in the logbook. In the event that no conversion factor is laid down in Community legislation, the conversion factor adopted by the Member State whose flag the vessel is flying shall apply.
Amendments 16 and 17
Article 9
The competent authorities of a Member State shall ensure in respect of landings made by any Community fishing vessel that has been present in the North Sea that:
The competent authorities of a Member State shall ensure that any quantity of plaice exceeding 200 kg and any quantity of sole exceeding 100 kg which has been caught in the North Sea is weighed before its first sale in accordance with current Community rules.
(a) all quantities of plaice and sole landed by any Community fishing vessel carrying on board any quantity of plaice exceeding 500 kg or of sole exceeding 300 kg are weighed;
Weighing shall be undertaken using scales that have been certified as accurate within a reasonable margin of tolerance in accordance with Community legislation by the competent authorities of the Member State.
(b) the weighing of plaice and sole is carried out in the presence of controllers and before transportation from the point of landing and before first sale;
(c) weighing is undertaken using scales that have been certified as accurate within a reasonable margin of tolerance by the competent authorities of the Member State.
Amendment 18
Article 11, paragraph 2
2.  Containers holding plaice or sole shall be stowed separately from other containers .
2.  Plaice and sole shall be stowed in separate fish boxes .
Amendment 23
Article 13 a (new)
Article 13a
Action plan for the development and use of low-impact fishing methods and gear
Immediately after the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall carry out an in-depth study of the impact of beam trawl fishing on ecosystems and the marine environment in areas where this fishing method is used and of the alternative fishing methods for beam trawl fishing that are sustainable in economic, ecological and social terms.
Based on the conclusion of this study, the Commission shall draw up an action plan to promote research into low-impact fishing methods and gear - including research on the size and shape of nets ensuring the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources - and the development of such research. At the same time, this action plan shall set guidelines for the gradual phasing out of fishing methods and gear which have a negative impact on ecosystems and the marine environment in favour of lower-impact fishing methods and gear. Initiatives under this action plan shall be financed from the European Fisheries Fund in accordance with the objectives of that Fund.
Amendment 20
Article 15
In the event that the STECF advises that either or both the spawning stock size of plaice or that of sole is suffering reduced reproductive capacity, the Council shall decide by qualified majority on the basis of a proposal from the Commission on a TAC for plaice that is lower than that provided for in Article 4, on a TAC for sole that is lower than that provided for in Article 5, and on a number of days at sea that is lower than that provided for in Article 6.
In the event that the STECF advises that either or both the spawning stock size of plaice or that of sole is suffering reduced reproductive capacity, the Council may decide by qualified majority on the basis of a proposal from the Commission on a TAC for plaice that is lower than that provided for in Article 4, on a TAC for sole that is lower than that provided for in Article 5, and on a number of days at sea that is lower than that provided for in Article 6.

(1) Not yet published in OJ.

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