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Journal Articles Marine Policy Year : 2021

Progress towards ending overfishing in the Northeast Atlantic


The reformed Common Fisheries Policy of the EU, in force since 2014, stipulates that overfishing by the fleets of its member states has to end latest in the year 2020. This study examines exploitation and status of 119 stocks fished by 20 countries in the Northeast Atlantic. In the year 2018, about 40% of the stocks were still subject to overfishing (F > Fmsy), about 34% of the stocks were outside safe biological limits (B < Bpa) and about 68% of the stocks were too small to produce maximum sustainable yields (B < Bmsy). Reduction in the number of overfished stocks has stalled, possible because of an agreement between the European Commission (EC) and the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), its advisory body for total allowed catches (TACs), wherein the EC requests ICES to give TAC advice leading to overfishing for many stocks. Scientific advice is often overruled or ignored by politicians/fisheries ministers, whose main objective is to get us much quota as possible for their country. As a result, of the TACs set for 2020, about 46% exceeded scientific advice, suggesting that the goal of ending overfishing in 2020 will not be met.
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hal-03036616 , version 1 (31-08-2021)



Rainer Froese, Athanassios Tsikliras, Giuseppe Scarcella, Didier D. Gascuel. Progress towards ending overfishing in the Northeast Atlantic. Marine Policy, 2021, 125, pp.104282. ⟨10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104282⟩. ⟨hal-03036616⟩
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