EU members that flout limits on fish catches to receive reduced quotas

EU member states that have repeatedly flouted EU limits on how much fish they can catch will receive greatly reduced quotas for this year, to ensure sustainable fishing, the European Commission said yesterday.

Those who incur the biggest penalties are France, Portugal and Spain.

Quotas are normally reduced by a percentage of the amount a nation has over-fished.

Because France, Portugal and Spain repeatedly over-fished the same species in the same area over the last three years, they will in addition see their quotas cut by 50% this year compared with 2011.

Spain faced the largest penalty by volume. For this year, its allowable catch of horse mackerel along its northern coastline is reduced by 11,624 tonnes from 22,409.

Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said over-fishing would not be tolerated. “I intend to use deductions to help achieve the main goal of the common fisheries policy: long-term sustainability of Europe’s fisheries,” she said in a statement.

Since 1983, the EU has sought to manage fisheries by setting the total allowable catch of fish for areas of ocean.



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