Fishing opportunities for 2011 distributed
© David Harding, Fotolia
Each year, the Council takes a decision on the maximum quantities of fish that can be caught by EU vessels in the Atlantic, the North Sea and international waters, and their distribution among national fleets. On 15 December, member states reached agreement for the coming year.
The amount of each species of fish that can be taken in a given area is defined in what are known as total allowable catches (TACs) and the allocation to individual member states is fixed in quotas.
The aim is to achieve sustainable exploitation of marine resources. Many stocks have been overfished, and management of the fishing effort must ensure that EU fisheries are ecologically, economically and socially sustainable, and that resources remain within biologically safe limits.
Some stocks have shown improvement, such as herring, sole and hake in some fishing zones, whereas others remain vulnerable. The establishment of fishing opportunities is based on scientific advice and a precautionary approach. It must establish a balance between the interests of the European fishing industry that should both be sustainable and profitable, and the protection and preservation of dwindling fish populations.
Webcast of press conference