The European Parliament adopted in plenary session a management plan for fish stocks in the Western Mediterranean. The purpose of this plan – the first for this area – is to manage fishing effort and thus preserve stocks from overfishing.
In the first year of the plan being implemented in 2020, the maximum fishing effort should be reduced by 10% as compared to the fishing days allowed between 2012 and 2017. During the next four years, the maximum fishing effort shall be reduced by 30%.
The text also requests that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) regulation be amended, so that fleet segments covered by the new rules should be able to benefit from compensation in case of a permanent stop of fishing activities.
MEPs also approved a ban on the use of trawls within 6 nautical miles from the coast, except in areas deeper than the 100 m isobath during three months each year. Each member state will determine those three months of annual closure, according to the best available scientific advice to ensure at least a 20% reduction of catches of juvenile hake.