March 9, 2017 — European Union Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Karmenu Vella, has presented a multi-annual plan for small pelagic fish stocks in the Adriatic Sea.
The proposal, which covers four different small pelagic stocks but is focused on anchovy and sardine – the most commercially valuable fishery – is the third multi-annual plan that the European Commission (EC) is putting forward since the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). It is also the first ever in the Mediterranean and if fully implemented has the potential to increase stocks by 20 percent.
This will bring tangible improvements in the working conditions for fishermen, with an expected increase in salary of approximately five percent and profits of around 10 percent.
According to the EC, the plan marks a milestone in its approach to fisheries management, and shows that long-term viability of fisheries can still be made possible in a sea basin in which 93 percent of the fish stocks are assessed as over-exploited.
Without this plan, anchovy and sardine stocks would most likely collapse between 2020 and 2030, said Vella.