The EU Council has approved regulations setting 2019 Black Sea catch limits for Romanian and Bulgarian fishermen.
The 2019 Black Sea catch limits, which are broadly similar to the limits set for 2018, aim to maximise the economic benefits of fishing while diminishing the risks of overfishing of marine wildlife. The figures laid out for future fishing are in line with the reformed Common Fisheries Policy and are informed by advice from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF).
The regulations will primarily affect fishing vessels from Bulgaria and Romania – although non-EU countries such as Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia and Russia also fish in the Black Sea; the STECF’s recommendations took this into account – and will come into effect on 1 January 2019. The 2019 Black Sea catch limits for sprat have rolled over from 2018 and remain at 11,475 tons for the year.
The total allowed catch of turbot for 2019 is 644 tons for all parties fishing in the Black Sea, with a total allowed catch of 114 tons allotted to Romania and Bulgaria as EU Member States. The 2019 Black Sea catch limits restrict turbot fishing to 180 days per year, with a complete ban on turbot fishing between 15 April and 15 June 2019 in order to allow stocks of turbot to replenish.
A statement issued by the Council of the EU on the 2019 Black Sea catch limits said: “The interested parties once more recognised the importance of continuing with the implementation of a robust monitoring, control and surveillance system in order to achieve sustainable management of fish resources in the Black Sea, and renewed their commitment to fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing of turbot in the Black Sea.”
Having received the approval of the Council of the EU, the regulations governing the 2019 Black Sea catch limits will be recorded in the Official Journal of the European Union.