Commission consults on the opportunities for growth and jobs with a digital seabed map of European waters

The Green Paper on "Marine Knowledge" adopted by the European Commission launches a consultation on how to know more about what is happening under the sea through to create a digital seabed map of European waters by 2020. Among other things, the consultation pretends gather views on the collecting all existing data into one coherent database accessible to everyone for creating the seabed map of European waters.

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Commission proposed higher Total Allowable Catches for sprat in the Baltic Sea for 2013

The European Commission tabled its proposal on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2013 in which it proposes higher Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for sprat, for the stocks of Central and Western herring and for plaice. The overall aim of the Commission's proposal is to make fisheries in the Baltic Sea environmentally and economically sustainable by following scientific advice.

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European Commission collaborates with Spanish authorities to improve fisheries control

The European Commission and the Spanish authorities have jointly designed an action plan to improve the catch registration system in Spain. This plan will contribute to a more sustainable fishing activity, one of the key objectives set by the European Union common fisheries policy.

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Deductions on fishing quotas for recurrent overfishing Member States increased by 50% for the first time

The European Commission has announced its decision on deductions of fishing quotas for year 2012 to those Member States which exceeded their quotas in the previous year. This decision foresees for the first time a 50% increase on deductions for those countries which have repeatedly exceeded their quotas between 2009 and 2011.

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New measures presented by the Commission for better protection for deep-sea stocks in the North-East Atlantic

The European Commission presented new measures to regulate fishing for deep-sea species and their habitats in the North-East Atlantic. Among the measures, the Commission proposes a reinforced licensing system and a gradual phase-out of those fishing gears that specifically target deep sea species in a less sustainable manner.

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Most of member states stressed that risk management has become essential for farmers

In addition to the presentation given by the Cyprus Presidency on its work programme in the agriculture and fisheries sectors, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting also held two public debates on the proposals for regulations on rural development and the common organisation of the markets in agricultural products within the framework of the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform.

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MEPs agreed that common fisheries policy reform must make fisheries sustainable

The Fisheries Committee at the European Parliament highlighted during a vote celebrated in 11 of July that failing to manage EU stocks sustainably means that 75% of them are overfished, costing the EU about €1.8 billion a year. MEPs therefore stresses that common fisheries policy reform must make fisheries sustainable, to ensure the survival of fishing fleets and coastal areas. Moreover, a deal with the Council ban EU imports of fish from overfished stocks and related species was unanimously endorsed by the Fisheries Committee.

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The Council reached a general approach on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

The Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting ended with the Ministers agreement on a general approach for the two main regulation proposals of the common fisheries policy (CFP) reform "package". This general approach constitutes a political agreement within the Council pending the future first-reading position of the European Parliament.

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Stricter rules to save bluefin tuna and approval of the EU-Mozambique fisheries deal in the European Parliament

MEPs approved a report which gives green light to the incorporation into EU law of new international measures to further reduce illegal catches of bluefin tuna. On the other hand, the European Parliament also backed the new deal with Mozambique. Thanks to the new agreement, 75 EU vessels from Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and the UK will get fishing licenses.

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No new agreement on Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) for tropical tunas

The European Commission showed its disappointment because no new Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) for tropical tunas were agreed, despite the WCPFC Scientific Committee's requests for stronger measures.

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The Council stresses the need to promote a more sustainable fisheries policy

European Ministers on Fisheries held a debate on the main regulation proposals of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform “package”. In addition, they adopted conclusions with regard to the external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy. Ministers agreed on the issue of a discard ban but the views differed concerning the modalities of the implementation of a discard ban.

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The Council supports Commission's proposal of landing of all sharks with their fins attached

Fisheries Ministers adopted a general approach in which they states its position on the controversial of "shark finning". According to this general approach, the Council is in line of the Commission's proposal to suppress the derogation that would mean sharks can only be landed with their fins attached. The Council now awaits the position of the European Parliament, before it will formalise its position.

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