A partial agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom is not acceptable – Eurasia Review
The Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, indicated that “a partial agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom” on the fixing of the total allowable catches (TAC) and fishing quotas for 2021 “is not acceptable”.
The Minister stressed the need to remain “united and on the same wavelength” in order to defend the fishing interests of all Member States.
Luis Planas met by videoconference with EU Fisheries Commissioner Virjinijus Sinkevicius and EU fisheries ministers from 10 Member States to analyze the state of consultations held in recent months in the framework of the trade and cooperation agreement signed with the UK after Brexit.
Several rounds of consultations took place in February to reach agreement on setting TACs and quotas for stocks of species present in EU and UK waters for the current year and for 2022 in the case of deep sea species.
Currently, there is consensus on TAC figures for virtually all stocks, which largely follow the scientific recommendations provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).
Previous agreements regarding the maintenance of TACs at the 2020 level for sea bream in the Cantabrian Sea and cod stocks in the west of Scotland and the Celtic Sea are of particular interest to Spain, which will allow the Spanish fishing activity to be maintained at levels similar to previous years, including coverage of by-catches to be landed due to the landing obligation.
However, there are differences on the flexibility that the UK wants to introduce in terms of setting and using certain quotas, which, according to Planas, “must have a common and harmonized approach”.
The UK proposed adding new flexibilities between zones, mainly between the North Sea and the West of Scotland, in the use of certain quotas for demersal species, as well as for mackerel.