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PUBLICATIONS, Structural and Cohesion Policies

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

Written by Irina Popescu (3rd edition, updated on 06.02.2019),

Bateaux de pêche dans la port du Conquet, Bretagne

© aterrom / Fotolia

During the February 2019 plenary session, the Parliament is due to vote on approving the political agreement reached in trilogue on a proposed 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 EU fishing fleet concerned mainly includes vessels from Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

The proposed plan follows the pattern set by the recently adopted North Sea multiannual plan. It would allow a certain flexibility in setting fishing opportunities, by defining ranges of fishing mortality based on the best available scientific advice, and would introduce safeguard measures based on biomass levels, so as to restore stocks when they fall below safe biological limits. The plan would not include quantified values for fishing mortality or biomass levels. These are instead provided by the latest scientific advice available, and directly used by the Council when fixing fishing opportunities.


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) 14923.3.20182018/0074(COD)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)

Next steps expected: Final first-reading vote in plenary

timeline 10 steps approved in Plenary


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