Commission presents guidelines to boost sustainable aquaculture in the EU

The European Commission presented strategic guidelines with the aim at coordinating efforts across all member states to foster the development of EU aquaculture. The Commission stressed that these guidelines do not create new legal obligations, but present a series of voluntary steps that member states.

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The European Parliament approved the EU's Common Fisheries Policy reform while called for a sustainable fishing

MEPs adopted a major reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The vote sets out clear and strong measures to tackle this problem. Among other measures, MEPs called on member states to prevent setting quotas that are too high to be sustainable from 2015 on.

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Regulations providing fishing opportunities in 2013 to EU vessels in Union and certain non-Union waters adopted

The Council adopted the regulations establishing general fishing opportunities for 2013. These regulations establish the total allowable catches (TACs) and member states' fishing quotas for 2013 in the areas covered by the regulations.

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European Food Safety Authority sets safe levels for possible presence of mercury in food

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has established Tolerable Weekly Intakes (TWIs) to protect consumers from the possible presence of the main forms of mercury found in food. Although the average exposure to the main types of mercury does not reach the maximum levels, some consumer groups might be especially concerned and therefore new scientific information regarding its toxicity needed to be established.

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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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The Council reached an agreement on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2013

The first day of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting ended with an agreement between ministers on fishing opportunities for 2013 for certain fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. This agreement lays down for 2013 the maximum quantities of fish from specific stocks that can be caught in the Baltic Sea (total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas), as well as the fishing effort limits for Baltic cod stocks.

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Commission proposes sightly increase in deep-sea fishing opportunities 2013-2014

In line with the scientific advice, the European Commission proposes to increase total allowable catches (TACs) for 3 stocks, a decrease for 13 stocks, and maintain TACs at the current level for 8 stocks (including zero TACs for 6 stocks), in EU and international waters of the North-East Atlantic for 2013-2014.

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Fisheries Committee calls on member states to stop issuing special permits to remove shark fins on board vessels

MEPs urged to member states that global efforts to combat illegal fishing be stepped up, and improvements made to agreements with third countries which allow EU vessels to fish in their waters in a Fisheries Committee meeting. They also asked for banning to remove shark fins on board vessels.

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