EU real agricultural income per worker has increased by 1.0% in 2012

According to the latest estimates released by Eurostat, the EU agricultural income per worker that comprises the income generated by agricultural activities over a given accounting period, has increased by 1.0% in 2012, after an increase of 8.0% in 2011.

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New guidelines on how best to ensure that activities related to aquaculture are compatible with EU nature legislation

The European Commission published guidelines to improve understanding of how aquaculture can be carried out inside Natura 2000, the EU-wide network of protected natural areas. These guidelines focus on the implementation of the provisions on appropriate assessment under the Habitats Directive.

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A large number of member states opposed the end of the sugar quota regime

The reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP) was the main subject to discuss during the first day of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting held on 28 November. Ministers focused the discussions in particular in direct payments, the single CMO and rural development.

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Almost 25,000 km2 of protected natural areas are now part of the Natura 2000 network

The European Commission has adopted the inclusion of 235 additional natural areas to the Natura 2000 network. The last update includes not only the inclusion of new sites, but also the extension and modification of some that were already part of the network. Further to the update the Natura 2000 network amounts for nearly 25,000 km2 of protected areas.

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MEPs backed the reform of the 2003 law to remove exceptions to the EU ban on shark finning

The European Parliament approved the reform of the law that allows exceptions to cut off shark fins and dumping carcasses at sea. The ban, in place since 2003, prohibited removing shark fins on board vessels.

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New proposal for fishing opportunities for 2013

The European Commission presented its proposal for fishing opportunities for fish stocks under international agreements in 2013. International negotiations for many of the stocks concerned are still on-going. It will be completed once negotiations with third parties and organisations have taken place.

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New Action Plan proposed to protect seabirds

The European Commission presented an Action Plan that sets up a management framework to minimise seabird bycatch to the lowest levels practically possible. It consists of 30 recommended actions that focus on long line and static net fisheries where seabird bycatch which are known to be highest.

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Eight third countries warned by the Commission that would be considered as non-cooperative in the fight against illegal …

The European Commission warned Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu that they risk being identified as countries it considers non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The Commission identified concrete shortcomings, such as lack of dialogue or lack of actions to address deficiencies in monitoring, controlling and surveillance of fisheries, and suggests corrective actions to resolve them.

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The Commission's priority in the 2012 ICCAT meeting will be the Bluefin tuna conservation

The European Commission has as priority at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) annual meeting the Bluefin tuna. In addition to this, the EU will also continue to propose measures for the protection of sharks including porbeagle and shortfin mako and supporting comprehensive measures for the conservation of Blue and White Marlin.

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