Brussels, 23 (Europe Press)
On Tuesday, EU fisheries ministers reached an agreement extending until July 31 of this year temporary fishing opportunities for “stocks” shared with the United Kingdom in light of the lack of progress in negotiations with the British authorities to determine the final quotas for this year.
“After several hours of negotiations, this Council of Ministers has reached the goal of agreeing to temporary allocations until July 31 for resources shared with the United Kingdom,” announced at a press conference Portugal’s Maritime Minister, Ricardo Serrao. This chapter holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
Since the UK left the European Union, Brussels and London have had to negotiate each year fishing opportunities for the 100 stocks that are being shared in their management. Since they have not yet been able to reach an agreement regarding this year, the European Union has decided to set aside temporary quotas for each of the “stocks” and thus allow its fleet to continue fishing.
The first contingency plan provided for an interim period until March 31, but the European Union assumed it would not be able to strike a deal with London before that date, so those in charge of the 27 fisheries agreed to extend the interim solution until July. 31
The extension, however, captures some changes. Instead of taking the catch allowed in 2020 as a reference (used in the first quarter), the community fleet will be able to fish through August of roughly 60% of what is recommended by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) for an entire year.
Spain has entered negotiations concerned about monkfish and roosters caught in western Scotland and the Celtic Sea, very seasonal groups whose catch is concentrated every year until August. Consequently, the delegation headed by Minister Luis Planas demanded a higher percentage of these “stocks”.
In light of the lack of knowledge about the agreement in general and on this issue in particular, diplomatic sources indicated that Spain is “satisfied” with the outcome of the negotiations because it gives “continuity” to the fleet’s activity and allows the commission to conclude the “imminent” negotiations with the United Kingdom.
A similar message was conveyed in a press appearance by Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginius Sinkevicius, who stressed that the agreement on temporary quotas gave Brussels “time” to continue negotiating with the United Kingdom over the final fishing opportunities.
“I hope this agreement will have a short life and we can replace it with final shares after reaching an agreement with the United Kingdom,” said the Lithuanian Commissioner, who was then “optimistic” in the face of “Saree”. With London.