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The NWWAC has issued a comprehensive response to the questionnaire on the second report of the implementation of EU Regulation 2019/1241

The North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) has issued a comprehensive response to the questionnaire on the second report of the implementation of EU Regulation 2019/1241.

This regulation pertains to the General Implementation of Technical Measures, aiming to manage fisheries resources effectively. Here are key highlights from NWWAC’s response:

 

1/. General Implementation of Technical Measures

The NWWAC acknowledges the importance of the Technical Measures Regulation (TMR) in contributing to EU environmental legislation and achieving the objectives of the Marine Action Plan. However, concerns are raised regarding the clash between Article 27 of the TMR, focusing on catch composition and mesh sizes, and the obligation to land catches from Article 15 of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This conflict poses challenges for fishers’ operational activities.

The Council emphasises the need for flexibility in the TMR, advocating for legislation that is receptive to innovations in fishing techniques and gears. Specific instances of recommendations made by NWWAC include measures for the management of king scallop, skates and rays, and brown crab.

 
2/. Measures Taken to Improve Fishing Patterns

Efforts to enhance size and species selectivity of commercially exploited species are recognised. NWWAC applauds fishers’ initiatives to collaborate with technologists, suggesting that such innovations face challenges due to the lack of flexibility in the Technical Measures Regulation.

The Council outlines various recommendations made since 2021, covering issues such as the management of skates and rays, technical measures in the North Western Waters, and whelk management. The need for a more flexible legislative framework is reiterated.

 

3/. Measures Taken to Minimise the Impact on Sensitive Species

NWWAC believes that collaborative efforts with fishers have led to the introduction of measures protecting sensitive species. Recommendations cover various mitigation and monitoring measures, including bird scaring lines, hook-protecting devices, and observer coverage.

Concerns are raised about the prohibited species list, and the Council emphasises the importance of transparency in the process of including or removing species from this list.

 

4/. Measures Taken to Minimise the Impact of Fishing Activity on the Ecosystem

The Council acknowledges participation in projects addressing the impact of climate change on fisheries, deep-sea mining, and the effects of seismic and offshore wind energy developments. Recommendations and reflections on reducing the impact of fishing on the seabed and sensitive habitats are also included.

 

5/. Measures Taken in the Context of Scientific Research

NWWAC highlights the ongoing collaboration between fishers and scientists to develop new gears and measures. The Council is involved in projects addressing the impact of climate change, participating in the SEAwise and Mission Atlantic projects.

 

Conclusion

The NWWAC’s response provides a detailed overview of its stance on the implementation of EU Regulation 2019/1241, highlighting challenges, recommendations, and ongoing collaborative efforts. The Council emphasises the need for flexibility, transparency, and continuous engagement with stakeholders to achieve sustainable fisheries management.

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