pech transparency fishing quotas

The PECH Committee has called for more transparency in distributing national fishing quotas

• historic catch is the main criterion for fishing quota allocation
• call to put more emphasis on sustainable environmental and social practices
• Commission to assist EU countries with improved implementation

EU governments should put more emphasis on environmentally friendly and socially sustainable fishing practices when distributing fishing quotas, say MEPs.

On Tuesday MEPs reviewed the criteria used by EU countries for distributing their national fishing quotas in a resolution adopted with 482 votes to 103 and 47 abstentions. In the text they stress that although the member states are formally required to consider the use transparent and objective criteria, including “of an environmental, social or economic nature” for the distribution of fishing opportunities at the national level, the size of historic catch remains the principal criterion for the fishing quota allocation. While this criterion offers economic stability in the fishing sector, it can also foster negative trends such as concentration in the fishing sector and distort competition, they add.

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Environmental and social criteria emphasised

MEPs stress the need to consider all types of criteria when allocating fishing quotas and call on member states to put more emphasis on environmentally friendly practices taking into account climate and ecosystem considerations. Criteria favouring fishing techniques with reduced environmental impact can in turn contribute to restoring fish populations to a sustainable level and improve biodiversity protection, say MEPs.

The much-needed generational renewal in the fisheries sector can be achieved by motivating young fishers to join the sector. Similarly, small-scale fishers can be motivated by increasing the percentage of the national quotas allocated to them, the resolution adds. MEPs also call on the EU governments to publish their methods for fishing quota allocations.

The European Parliament also calls on the European Commission to analyse the implementation of relevant articles of CFP in its upcoming report and suggest improvements and to assist the EU governments in setting up the appropriate allocation methodology.

Following the vote, the EP rapporteur Caroline Roose (Greens, FR) said: “Looking at the way fishing quota are distributed by member states among vessels and fleet segments is key. There is a real lack of transparency as member states are not respecting their obligations in that regard. Distributing fishing quota according to environmental and social criteria is essential to allow the EU to meet the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy and the European Green Deal. It is the responsibility of Member States to design quota allocation systems, but the Commission must do more to support Member States and encourage them to use those social and environmental criteria.”


Article 17 of the Common Fisheries Policy asks member states to use transparent and objective criteria, including those of an environmental, social and economic nature, for the distribution of fishing quotas within member states. However, according to MEPs, most EU countries did not change their allocation methods in response to this CFP requirement.

Source: Press Release

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PECH Committee calls for more transparency in distributing fishing quotas

by editor time to read: 6 min