EU proposals for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Contents

8  Relative Stability

96.  Total Allowable Catches are shared among the participating Member States based on their historical fishing activities, which is known as relative stability. However, environmental changes are likely to result in changes in stock distributions over time. Professor Rogers told us that:

Climate change is coming into play across European waters as well, in that our waters are warming and biological communities are changing. In some cases, it is likely patterns of primary production, and therefore fisheries production, are going to change. Whatever we do in terms of fisheries management in the future in European waters, that is another area that has to be looked at and taken into account in terms of fisheries management.[216]

Adam Whittle from Billingsgate Seafood Training School similarly described how they are seeing "Mediterranean species increasing and less availability of traditional colder water species. More warmer water species are coming on the market".[217]

97.  We heard that changes in the geographical distribution of stocks and their abundance risks creating a mismatch between quota availability and stock availability. For example, on our visit to Hastings, we heard that the allocation of cod does not match the "abundance" of cod in their inshore waters, which in turn leads to regulatory discarding.[218] Defra should call for a review of the effect of environmental change on the future distribution of stocks before the next round of CFP reform, with the intention of revisiting the relative stability principle if appropriate.

216   Q 7 Back

217   Q 453 Back

218   Q 424 Back

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Prepared 24 February 2012