The EU was granted fishing opportunities for chub mackerel at the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) annual session

The EU was granted fishing opportunities for chub mackerel at the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) annual session

In a significant development for European Union (EU) fisheries, a new fishing zone has been opened in the North Pacific, allowing EU vessels to partake in the harvest of chub mackerel. This decision was made during the annual session of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) held from April 15 to 18, 2024, in Osaka, Japan.

Chub mackerel is a valuable commercial species, and the approval for EU fishing opportunities marks the second year of the EU’s full membership in the NPFC. This move not only grants the EU a foothold in North Pacific fisheries but also signals a heightened responsibility for sustainability on the international stage.

Virginius Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries, expressed optimism about the EU’s expanded role, stating, “This agreement in the North Pacific Fisheries Commission means the EU will become a fishing player in the North Pacific. With those new fishing rights, for the EU also comes a renewed responsibility to continue promoting sustainability of fisheries at the international level.”

The NPFC, established as a regional fisheries management organization (RFMO), aims to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources while safeguarding marine ecosystems in the North Pacific Ocean.

The EU’s accession to the NPFC in March 2022 underscores its commitment to global fisheries management aligned with the objectives of the European Green Deal and common fisheries policy. By participating in the NPFC, the EU contributes to enhancing governance, supporting scientific research, and enforcing regulatory compliance within the organization.

Fisheries resources under the purview of the NPFC encompass various marine species, including chub mackerel, Pacific saury, sablefish, Japanese sardine, neon flying squid, Japanese flying squid, and deep-sea species.

Currently, NPFC membership comprises Canada, China, the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Chinese Taipei, the United States, and Vanuatu. RFMOs like NPFC play a crucial role in coordinating fishing interests among coastal states and distant water fishing nations, with the EU actively engaging in 18 RFMOs globally to promote sustainable fisheries and ocean governance at the international level.

 

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