The PECH Committee requested research on the “Discard ban, landing obligation and MSY in the Western Mediterranean Sea” and this research was presented in a Workshop for the Committee on 22 November 2018.
During the event, two studies were presented: the ‘Italian case’ by Dr María Teresa Spedicato, COISPA and the ‘Spanish case’ by Dr Jose Luis Sánchez Lizaso, University of Alicante, and others.
The research and the Workshop were both managed for the Committee by the Policy Department.
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The Workshop refers to an ongoing legislative file, the adoption by the PECH Committee of a draft report on the proposal for a regulation of the EP and of the Council establishing a multi-annual plan for fisheries exploiting demersal stocks in the Western Mediterranean Sea.
Both studies considered that most of the assessed stocks of demersal and small pelagic species are overexploited with the exception of deep-water rose shrimp, striped mullet and red mullet. Extensive scientific stock assessments are required to define fish population status and this process is quite recent in the Mediterranean. Among the conclusions highlighted, there is an unexpected one: the landing obligation will not help to reach Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) because it will not decrease fishing mortality.
The new legislative proposal of the Commission introduces total allowable effort as a new way to regulate Western Mediterranean demersal fisheries by significantly reducing fishing time. Considering the mixed nature of fisheries, with vessels targeting at the same time species with highly different life history traits, it is necessary to introduce flexibility in the fishery management. This new management measure must be complemented with increased gear selectivity, implementation of closed areas and local co-management plans
Relevant goals for the EU forthcoming multiannual Plan for demersal species in the Western Mediterranean should consider that different approaches to reduce fishing mortality might have different socio-economic impact.
The debate that followed the Workshop presentations focused on clarifying the main issues and assessment of the different scenarios to reach the MSY 2020 objective while limiting the economic impact on fishers due to the reduction or cessation of fishing activity.
Link to watch video of the event (with multilingual interpretation) – Workshop starts at 09:08:00