6 Multiannual plans |
79. The Commission intends that this round of
CFP reform should move away from using single stock, annual plans
to manage fishing opportunities towards using multiannual plans
that can cover multiple species where appropriate.
There is widespread support for long-term management at the fisheries
level. In the
future, multiannual plans will be the main instrument for restoring
stocks to sustainable levels, so it is vital that they are established
since the Commission proposes a deadline of 2015 by which to restore
stocks to MSY levels, we aver that the multiannual plans that
set out how this will be achieved and monitored would need to
be agreed by 2014 at the latest. Furthermore, under the current
proposals, multiannual plans are the only mechanism by which decision-making
will be devolved to Member States. For species not covered by
multiannual plans, the Council will continue to set the conservation
and technical measures annually.
It is therefore essential that these multiannual plans are agreed
80. The draft Regulation states that multiannual
plans should be established "as a priority" but does
not give a precise timetable or specify exactly which stocks should
be covered. The
Commissioner explained it was her "ambition" to have
multiannual management plans established for the majority of stocks
by the end of her mandate in 2014.
Greenpeace said it was a "major shortcoming" that no
deadlines have been set for the adoption of multiannual plans.
The New Economics Foundation and ClientEarth called for a firm
timetable for the agreement of multiannual plans and for clarity
on which stocks will be covered by multiannual plans.
81. We are concerned that since 2002 only 22
multiannual management plans have been agreed, representing only
one-quarter of the EU's commercial stocks.
It is disappointing that the agreement of these plans has been
delayed by inter-institutional debates over the legal base. A
much faster rate of progress will be needed in future to deliver
the CFP's objectives. Defra
should request that the European institutions commit to developing
multiannual plans for commercial stocks within a reasonable timeframe.
We propose a deadline of 2017 so that the EU can meet its commitment
under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive that, by 2020, all
commercial stocks will be restored to within safe biological limits.
Defra should press for the agreement of multiannual plans for
the UK's commercial stocks as a priority.
82. The current multiannual management plans
have been criticised for being inflexible.
This creates a problem when environmental or biological factors
mean that stocks do not respond as predicted by the scientific
models underlying the multiannual plans. Richard Lochhead MSP
told us that:
At the moment for instance, North Sea herring is
part of a long term management plan. The science has suddenly
changed and said there should be 139% increase in the quota, but
the management plan says you cannot go beyond a 15% increase in
quota. Are we stuck with that for several years, even though the
science is now saying something different? We have to make sure
the management plans are flexible.
Moreover if a plan is failing to meet its objectives,
such as the Cod Recovery Plan, under the current procedure the
necessary amendments must go through the co-decision process,
which could delay the agreement of a new plan for two years or
83. The draft Regulation does not stipulate the
duration of multiannual plans or a mechanism for their review.
The Commission's non-paper states "the plan would also have
a flexibility article in order for new scientific advice to be
taken into account quickly" but the legal base for this response
mechanism is not clear.
We are concerned that the current proposals do not allow for an
'emergency response' to amend a multiannual plan if it proves
should suggest that a mechanism is established to amend multiannual
plans within a reasonable time frame if this is necessary due
to changing scientific advice or environmental conditions.
Ideally the review mechanism should allow for a new plan to be
adopted within a year. This would suggest the appropriate mechanism
would be a decision by the Commission under delegated acts.
172 COM(2011) 425, Recital 17, Article 9 Back
Including WWF (Ev 122), Marine Conservation Society (Ev w 1),
Waitrose (Ev w12), Greenpeace (Ev w20) Back
Ev w20 Back
Q 143 Back
COM(2011) 425, Article 9 (1) Back
Q 142 Back
Ev w20 Back
Ev w4, Ev 96, see also ClientEarth, CFP reform proposal: governance
and regionalisation, October 2011 Back
SEC(2011) 891, p 5 Back
NFFO (Q 62, 81), WWF (Q 293), Scottish Government (Q 203) Back
Q 203 Back
Q 293, Q 307 Back
European Commission non-paper, CFP Reform-regionalisation,
December 2011 Back