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Who watches over our limited small pelagics resources? EMODnet knows!

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Early in the 20th century, fish were plentiful and cheap, but were not managed in a way that would preserve stocks for future generations. Industrial fishing has made fish more scarce, smaller in size, and as a result, what was once easily and cheaply available, has today become more expensive. High prices and the potential disappearance of profitable industrial fisheries have triggered politicians and scientists to act in order to change the negative trend.

The Advisory Councils (ACs) were established as one of the pillars of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in 2002. The main objective of the ACs is to work towards integrated and sustainable management of fisheries resources, based on the ecosystem approach and the precautionary principle. Each AC was established based on the geographical area of management and the species of commercial interest to the AC members.

pelagics resources mapThe Pelagic AC manages small pelagics stocks in EU waters including herring, horse mackerel, blue whiting, Atlantic mackerel, and boarfish, but excluding those in the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea. The organisation prepares and provides advice on the management of pelagic fish stocks on behalf of the fisheries sector and other stakeholders. Every year recommendations are given regarding fishing opportunities for pelagic stocks for the subsequent year as well as recommendations on technical measures and other issues of common interest, such as the new Common Fisheries Policy.

The Pelagic AC (as a foundation under Dutch law) was inaugurated on 16 August 2005, and consists of a General Assembly (GA), an Executive Committee and two Working Groups that cooperate closely with observers from non-EU countries with an interest in the particular stocks or regions covered by the Pelagic AC. The members of the GA are representatives of the European fisheries sector and other interest groups such as ship owners, independent small-scale fishermen, employed fishermen, producer organisations, as well as processors and traders. Other stakeholders represented are environmental NGOs and recreational fishermen.  If you are interested in small pelagics management in the areas covered by the Pelagic AC, please  visit the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) website for a clear overview of the mapped areas.

The information and views set out in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Commission. Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on the European Commission's behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information therein.

April 17th, 2018 | Written by

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