Parliament and Council negotiators reached on Monday night a provisional agreement on the first EU-wide management plan for fish stocks in the Western Mediterranean Sea.
The deal aims to set fishing opportunities of demersal species (i.e. those that live at the bottom of the sea) to a level that can ensure the exploitation of stocks while maintaining its capacity of reproduction.
Rapporteur and lead negotiator for the EP, Clara Eugenia Aguilera García (S&D, ES), said: "This is a historic plan: for the first time the issue of overfishing in the Western Mediterranean Sea is being addressed jointly. I am satisfied with the agreement because we have reached a balance between environmental and socio-economic sustainability. Now it is time to work to improve the future of our fisheries. Our aim is to adopt this agreement in the Fisheries Committee on 19th of February and table it for its final approval to the second March plenary session".
This agreement needs to be confirmed by EU ambassadors (COREPER), Parliament’s Fisheries Committee (on 19 February) Parliament as a whole and, finally, by the Council.
This multi-annual plan is the fourth proposal adopted in line with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), on which the co-legislators reached an agreement, after the Baltic Sea, North Sea and Western Waters.
The plan covers the western Mediterranean waters along the northern Alboran Sea, the Gulf of Lion and the Tyrrhenian Sea, including the Balearic Islands, Corsica and Sardinia. According to 2015 data, the fishing fleet concerned consists of almost 10 900 vessels, where 50% are from Italy, 39% from Spain and 11% from France (Annual Economic Report, 2017).