The EU Parliament approves enhanced conservation measures and management plans for bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Mediterranean
EU Parliament Approves Enhanced Conservation Measures for Atlantic and Mediterranean Fisheries
In a decisive move towards sustainable fisheries management, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have given their resounding approval to updated conservation and control measures for the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions.
The plenary session focused on incorporating the recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) into EU law, receiving an overwhelming endorsement with 568 votes in favour, 44 against, and 14 abstentions.
The revised measures extend to the multiannual management plan for bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, signifying a commitment to preserving the health and balance of marine ecosystems. The legislation, which aligns with recommendations from ICCAT, received prior agreement from EU governments and passed through the Committee on Fisheries.
To ensure the effectiveness of the regulations, MEPs made enhancements to the Commission’s proposal, addressing various species including tropical tunas, albacore, swordfish, sailfish, blue and white marlin, shortfin mako sharks, and sea turtles. Notably, the MEPs urged EU countries to bolster data collection efforts on catches, encompassing both live and dead discards, and to report this information annually, supporting robust stock assessment processes.
Countries holding a bluefin tuna quota are now required to establish comprehensive monitoring, control, and inspection plans. For those allocating quotas to recreational fisheries, the authorisation of vessels for this purpose is mandated.
Rapporteur Clara Aguilera (S&D, ES) emphasised the importance of aligning EU fishing fleet conditions and measures with those of third-country fishing fleets operating in the same area, promoting a level playing field. Aguilera highlighted the incorporation of rules for data improvement, restrictions on recreational fishing, and guidelines for the transfer of bluefin tuna quotas.
“We have updated the rules as much as possible so that the EU’s fishing fleet will have the same conditions and measures as those applied to third country fishing fleets operating in the area, which is essential for a level playing field. We have included, among others, rules for improving data collection, restrictions and prohibitions for recreational fishing and rules for the transfer of bluefin tuna quotas,” stated Aguilera.
The legislation is set for the next stage of approval by the Council and, upon publication in the Official Journal of the EU, will become law, marking a significant stride towards sustainable and responsible fisheries management in the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions.
Source: Press Release