Ministers have kicked-off the AGRIFISH Council meeting with talks on fishing opportunities for 2021
EU Member States Ministers kicked-off today’s AGRIFISH Council meeting with negotiations on the three regulations fixing fishing opportunities for 2021 in certain areas of Atlantic and North Sea, Mediterranean and Black Seas as well as for certain deep-sea stocks.
The European Commission is proposing a big cut in fishing opportunities for 2021 according to reports coming for the AGRIFISH Council meeting in Brussels this evening.
French Fisheries Minister Annick Girardin tweeted “The Commission’s proposal, which wants to impose a significant reduction in our quotas this year, is not satisfactory at this stage.”
The fisheries quotas are being negotiated between the Member State Ministers on the remaining quotas in the EU and internationally will continue tomorrow although fishing opportunities for 2021 has already decided for the Baltic last October.
Croatia had proposed extra-assistance for the fishing and aquaculture industry that has been hit by COVID-19. The European Commission considered the idea but later informed the Council of Ministers that they believe there is sufficient funding built into in the EMFAF 2021 – 2027.
Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture of Germany said that it was difficult negotiations with restrictions in place due to the coronavirus and Brexit.
Speaking at the press conference this evening she said:
“This year we had the TAC and quota negotiations with the ongoing with the United Kingdom that’s really overshadowing things. I think we can say that everything truly has changed. We don’t know what will come of the negotiations with the United Kingdom under the so-called ‘deal’ and that will have real impact on access to waters and access to fishing.
“It is a difficult subject and will be a difficult subject in the final steps of negotiations with the United Kingdom and so long as those negotiations have not been concluded. For the stocks we share and manage jointly with the UK cannot be definitively agreed upon this year. We have a certain degree of flexibility that is required and as usual we have the annual trilateral negotiations that are taking place in the Council this evening and tonight. We are hoping tomorrow morning to have some type of compromised text.”
Talks on TACs and quotas continue tomorrow between the 27 Member States and we should have an announcement on the 2021 fishing opportunities for the EU fleet by tomorrow night.