North Sea RAC Takes View on North Sea Cod

3rd December 2013 in Advisory Councils, North Sea

The North Sea RAC has suggested that the TAC for North Sea cod should be increased in order to strike a balance between rebuilding the stock and reducing discards.

“We would normally advise that where there is a long term management plan it should be followed”, said Niels Wichmann, chairman of the NSRAC.

“However, in the case of North Sea cod, there are exceptional circumstances, not least that the impasse between the Council and the European Parliament, that has blocked a review and revision of the Cod Plan”, he said. This would be a departure from the terms of the long term management plan but we think, having looked carefully at the science and the fishery that in these circumstances it is justified.

We have looked very carefully at ICES advice and have come to the conclusion that a cautious increase in the TAC of around 10% would help to reduce discards in 2014 whilst maintaining the steady rebuilding of the spawning stock biomass. We are very encouraged that the science has recorded the seventh successive annual increase in the biomass.”

The RAC has also suggested that again there should be no reduction in permitted days-at-sea in 2014.

“If we set aside the complex constitutional issues, there is widespread agreement that nothing would be achieved by a further cut and indeed a reduction in effort could undermine the varied conservation initiatives put in place through partnerships between the member states and the fishing industry.”

“This is a view that has been reached after long discussions and close scrutiny of the scientific advice. It is unanimously supported by all groups within the RAC.”