These are the 2019 fishing opportunities

A quarter of all fish in Spain comes from aquaculture

These are the 2019 fishing opportunities

For decades, the European Union has overseen the main measures in matters related to the fisheries of its member states, which are committed to following its guidelines through instruments such as the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

It should come as no surprise that today, within the framework of a globalized and interconnected society, the problems and solutions related to fishing grounds are shared. Although maritime borders are perfectly drawn, environmental problems overcome these demarcations. Therefore, there is a need to establish measures with common goals that direct particular interests towards consensual positions in the medium and long term.

In this regard, the European Commission, which acts as the Government of the European Union, has reported on fishing-related issues that affect its territory in the recent past and present. With regard to the former, it has analyzed the results achieved by the measures of the CFP. Regarding the latter, it has set in motion the process to serve as a guide for what are known as 2019 fishing opportunities. Let’s stop for a moment and take a look at this interesting debate, which should culminate in the distribution of fishing quotas for the 2019 financial year.

In this aspect, in order to agree on the fishing quotas that will be permitted in the fishing grounds of the North and Baltic seas and the Atlantic Ocean, a deliberative process will be opened up in which all the actors involved in this activity will have the right to speak their mind: Member States, NGOs, civil society, advisory councils, the private sector of the fishing industry, etc.

For its part, the suggestions made by the European Commission, which operate as a framework in which the final decisions will be made, are based on technical criteria emanating from independent bodies, such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ISEC) or the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). Final decisions, on the other hand, remain in the hands of the Council of Ministers of Fisheries of the European Union.

Commissioner Karmenu Vella, head of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, welcomed the contribution to the sustainability of policies of this nature. In fact, the CFP has set as a goal for 2020 the achievement of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). Broadly speaking, overfishing trends are being corrected and a certain recovery of biomass can already be observed. In the Mediterranean Sea, however, biomass has not improved since 2003.

In short, the balance of the decisions implemented in the framework of the CFP presents positive data, such as an increase in both the productivity of the fishing fleets and in wages received in the sector. Another challenge presented, on the other hand, is increasing landing obligations to avoid discarded product at ports. Progress is being made in this area.

In short, global fishing policies designed to act locally in the waters of the European Union.