Following Russia’s announcement on August 7 to ban imports of certain fisheries products from the European Union, the European Commission is working with Member States authorities to gather evidence on the impact of the Russian trade measures in the fisheries sector and to outline the available support to the sectors affected by the ban.
In 2013, the total export value of the banned EU fisheries products was close to EUR 144 million, which represents 2% of total value of the EU’s fish and aquaculture annual product.
The Commission is monitoring the situation and striving to achieve a coordinated and appropriate response for all sectors affected by the ban, including the fisheries sector.
The European Commission has also announced strengthening of its commitment to sustainable fishing by issuing a new set of guidelines to help Member States strike the balance between fishing capacity and fishing opportunities.
The guidelines recommend to EU Member States a set of standardised indicators (biological, economic and vessel-use indicators) to determine if the size of their fishing fleets are in line with the amount of fishing opportunities allocated to them.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki said: “Too many powerful boats chasing too few fish inevitably leads to overfishing and ever dwindling stocks.
Balance is the key to sustainable stocks and today’s guidelines show our commitment to helping Member States keep their fleets’ capacity in line with the amount of fish they can catch”
Under the Common Fisheries Policy, EU Member States are responsible for achieving a stable and enduring balance between the fishing capacity of their fleet and their fishing opportunities to avoid overfishing and increased pressure on dwindling fish stocks.
Member states must take action when required to ensure this balance. The guidelines aim to facilitate the work of national administrations in fulfilling this task.