Brussels -- The European Commission has today announced deductions from 2013 fishing quotas for those Member States that declared having exceeded their quotas in 2012. This yearly deduction exercise allows the Commission to immediately address the damage done to the stocks overfished in the previous year and ensure a sustainable use by Member States of common fishery resources.
Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: 'As we now work towards the implementation of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, our priority is to ensure that the rules are rigorously and fairly enforced for all. I note the reduction in the total amount of overfishing as compared to last year and aim at ensuring a longer term trend in this respect. This will form part of our continued focus on enforcing control provisions, which is crucial to stopping overfishing and achieving the long-term sustainability of our stocks.'
Quota deductions are operated on the same stocks that were overfished in the previous year, with further deductions made for consecutive overfishing, overfishing above 5 % or if the stock concerned is subject to a multiannual plan.
However, should a Member State have no quota available to payback its overfishing, the quantities will be deducted from an alternative stock in the same geographical area, taking into account the need to avoid discards in mixed fisheries. Deductions on alternative stocks are decided in consultation with the Member States concerned and will be published in a separate Regulation later this year.
The legal basis for deductions is Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009. It mandates the Commission to operate deductions from future quotas of the Member States that have overfished. Certain multiplying factors apply, as set out in Article 105(2) and (3) of the Regulation with a view to ensure the sustainability of the stocks.