Multiannual plan for demersal fisheries in the western Mediterranean

Briefing 19-07-2019

The European Parliament and Council have adopted a new multiannual plan for the western Mediterranean fisheries exploiting several stocks of fish and crustaceans living close to the sea bottom (i.e. 'demersal fisheries'). Most of these stocks have long been overfished and are now in an alarming state. The new plan aims to reverse this trend and ensure that fishing activities are environmentally sustainable, and capable of securing economic and social benefits. It concerns fishing fleets from Italy, Spain and France, totalling almost 10 900 vessels. The new regulation introduces a fishing-effort regime for all trawlers operating in the region, under which the Council will set each year, on the basis of scientific advice, the maximum number of fishing days for each fleet category by Member State. In addition, the plan restricts trawlers from operating in waters shallower than 100 m located within 6 nautical miles of the coast, for three months per year, to reserve the coastal zone for more selective fishing gear. The plan also establishes regional cooperation among the Member States concerned, with a view to developing provisions on the obligation to land all catches and on the conservation of resources through technical measures.