EU Council adopts 2019 catch limits for Black Sea fisheries

Next year Bulgarian and Romanian fishermen in the Black Sea will be able to continue fishing at the same levels as in 2018.

The Council of the EU adopted on December 17 a regulation setting the 2019 catch limits for the commercially most important fish stocks in the Black Sea.

The regulation, which comes into force on January 1 2019, affects Bulgaria and Romania.

The Council decided to confirm the Commission proposal to roll-over the catch limit for sprat for Romania and Bulgaria at 11 475 tons.

For turbot, the Council set a total allowable catch (TAC) fully in line with the level established by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) in its recommendation on a multiannual management plan for the whole Black Sea turbot fisheries (644 tons), resulting in an EU TAC of 114 tons which is  equally shared between Bulgaria and Romania.

Fishing will be limited to 180 days a year and there will be a complete ban over a two-month period (April 15 – June 15) to allow for the recovery of turbot.

These figures are based on the best available scientific advice coming from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), and comply with the principles of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the Council of the EU said.

Black Sea stocks exploited by Bulgaria and Romania are shared with non-EU countries, e.g. Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia and the Russian Federation.

Until 2017 no TACs had been decided at regional level between EU and non-EU countries, and every year since 2008, the European Union had been fixing autonomous quotas for turbot and sprat stocks in order to help ensure that the CFP rules were applied.

“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,” the statement said.

(Photo: © Eric Gevaert/



The Sofia Globe staff

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