Members' Research Service By / July 12, 2018

Multiannual plan for fisheries in the Western Waters [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 23 March 2018, the European Commission proposed a multiannual plan for management of fisheries in a northeast Atlantic area along the western coast of the EU, known as the Western Waters.

© aterrom / Fotolia

Written by Irina Popescu (4th edition, updated on 5.4.2019),

Bateaux de pêche dans la port du Conquet, Bretagne
© aterrom / Fotolia

The European Parliament and Council adopted a new multiannual plan for management of fisheries in the Western Waters, an area of the north-east Atlantic along the western coast of the EU. The plan covers fisheries exploiting stocks of fish and crustaceans living close to the sea bottom (i.e. ‘demersal fisheries’), including several deep-sea stocks. It aims to ensure that these stocks are exploited sustainably and that their management is based on the most up-to-date scientific information. The fishing fleet concerned mainly includes vessels from Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

The new plan follows the pattern set by the 2018 North Sea multiannual plan. It allows a certain flexibility in setting fishing opportunities, by defining ranges of fishing mortality based on the best available scientific advice, and introduces safeguard measures to restore stocks when they fall below safe biological limits. The quantified values for fishing mortality or biomass levels are provided by the latest scientific advice available, and directly used by the Council when fixing fishing opportunities. Of particular importance in the eventuality of Brexit, the plan covers British waters off the western and southern UK coast, setting the stage for future fisheries cooperation in the area.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a multiannual plan for fish stocks in the Western Waters and adjacent waters, and for fisheries exploiting those stocks, amending Regulation (EU) 2016/1139 establishing a multiannual plan for the Baltic Sea, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 811/2004, (EC) No 2166/2005, (EC) No 388/2006, (EC) 509/2007 and (EC) 1300/2008
Committee responsible: Fisheries (PECH) COM(2018) 149 of 23.3.2018


Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Rapporteur: Alain Cadec (EPP, France)
Shadow rapporteurs: Ricardo Serrão Santos (S&D, Portugal)
Baroness Nosheena Mobarik (ECR, UK)
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE, Spain)
João Ferreira (GUE/NGL, Portugal)
Linnéa Engström (Greens/EFA, Sweden)
Procedure completed. Regulation (EU) 2019/472
OJ L 83, 25.3.2019, pp. 1–17.

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