TACs cut by 30% for Bay of Biscay anchovies
By Anne Eckstein | Thursday 26 July 2012
Fishing opportunities (total allowable catches or TACs) for Bay of Biscay anchovies for the 2012-2013 season will be cut from 2011-2012 levels. The Council will adopt a decision to this effect, on 27 July.
The fishing season for Bay of Biscay anchovies runs from 1 July to 30 June. TACs for the season that has just opened will be set at 20,700 tonnes (down from 29,700 tonnes in 2011-2012) and will be divided between the two countries concerned, Spain (18,630 tonnes) and France (2,070 tonnes). They cover the anchovy stock of ICES Area VIII. The catch limit is in line with the proposal for a multiannual management plan for the anchovy stock, which provides that TACs are to be set on the basis of the most recent scientific data on stock status. According to the opinion issued by the Commission’s Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), in July 2012, spawning stock amounts to around 68,180 tonnes compared with 98,450 tonnes last year, justifying the cut of nearly 30% in TACs.
Adoption of the multiannual management plan for anchovies – presented by the Commission in 2009 – has been held up due to the dispute between the European Parliament and the Council over the legal status of management plans and the competences of the two institutions. With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, fishing is now subject to co-decision, apart from decisions on TACs. The Council maintains that management plans enter into the scope of decisions on TACs and are therefore not required to be endorsed by the EP (advisory opinion), whereas the EP considers such plans to form part of fisheries management policy on which it is co-legislator.