Western Waters Multi Annual Plan has been published

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01 Apr

The Plan was published in the Official Journal on the 25th of March with effect the next day.

It can be downloaded in all EU languages here
We wrote about the Plan in an article on 13 February. 

A couple of highlights: 

● The landing obligation shall not apply to recreational fisheries in the Western Waters, the North Sea, and the Baltic Sea, thanks to our lobby efforts;

● The plan includes bass management in the North Sea and all the way down to Gibraltar.

However, the differences in the bass Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes (i.e. the minimum landing sizes), 36cm in southern western waters and 42cm in north, is not addressed in this Plan as we had suggested.
The Plan leaves it to another piece of legislation, the pending renewal of the Technical Measures Regulation, to set Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes.
The Commission's proposal for renewal of that piece of legislation has 42cm for bass in all Western Waters. However, the Council and the Parliament have agreed not to change but keep these minimum landing sizes for bass:

North Sea: 42 cm
North Western Waters: 42 cm
South Western Waters: 36 cm
Mediterranean Sea: 25 cm 
(from the provisional agreement of 22 February)

The EAA and the EFTTA continue to advocate that minimum landing size for bass should be 42cm in all EU waters, to protect juveniles, allowing bass to spawn before entering the fishery. In fact, even at 42cm only a part of female bass are capable of spawning. 

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