PelAC has written to DG MARE calling for acceptance of a rebuilding plan for Western horse mackerel in bilateral discussions between the EU and UK ICES has recommended zero catch limit on horse mackerel in the northeast Atlantic for 2023

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The Chairman of the Pelagic Advisory Council (PelAC) has written to the Director-General of DG MARE, Charlina Vitcheva calling for acceptance of a rebuilding plan for Western horse mackerel in bilateral discussions between the EU and UK. 

The Chairman of PelAC, Sean O’Donoghue, says that since 2015, they have spent a has spent a significant amount of effort into developing a rebuilding plan for Western horse mackerel.  

In the letter Mr O’Donoghue says, “This plan was finalised and submitted to the Commission in 2020, and is the result of a collaborate effort between PelAC members (including former UK colleagues), with contributions from scientists from a number of scientific institutions. As you know, this rebuilding plan was evaluated by ICES in 2021 and deemed precautionary. 

In its 2022 TAC recommendations for this stock, the PelAC therefore advised the Commission to discuss the rebuilding plan catch option with the UK during bilateral negotiations. As this plan has not yet been accepted by both parties, the final TAC agreed at December 2021 Council followed the ICES MSY advice.

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“The recent ICES advice for this stock, published last week Friday 30 September 2022, recommends zero catches in 2023. This advice reflects the urgent need to step up efforts in adopting this plan as soon as possible. The purpose of the rebuilding plan is to ensure stock recovery to safe biomass levels as well as a long-term stock exploitation with the objective of achieving MSY.  

“In addition to considering the PelAC recommendations on 2023 TACs for the stocks under its remit, which are expected to be released over the coming days, the PelAC would be grateful if the Commission could pursue, as a matter of urgency, the acceptance of the rebuilding plan for this stock in its negotiations with the UK during the next meeting of the Specialised Committee on Fisheries (SCF) organized by the end of October.” 

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PelAC calls for acceptance of rebuilding plan for Western horse mackerel 

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