Answer to Written Question: Request for an opinion on increasing the bluefin tuna quotas for recreational fishing

(Source: European Parliament)



Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius

on behalf of the European Commission


According to Article 16(6) and (7) of Regulation (EU) N° 1380/2013[1] on the Common Fisheries Policy, it is up to the Member States to decide how fishing opportunities are allocated nationally. Article 17 of the same Regulation sets out the criteria to be used when allocating fishing opportunities available to them. Regarding Bluefin tuna, these criteria are also incorporated in Article 43 of Regulation (EU) 2017/2107[2] which follows the same drafting as Article 8 of Regulation (EU) 2016/1627[3].

Those articles allow a considerable degree of discretion to Member States on the choice of criteria for quota allocation between operators, including the relative importance given to each criterion, as long as they are objective and transparent.

The Commission has limited powers to control the use of those criteria unless unfair treatment has been proven that clearly exceeds the discretion afforded to Member States. Therefore, the Commission is not empowered to issue instructions to increase the quota for recreational fishing in Italy.

The co-legislators have agreed to keep the minimum conservation reference size at 115 cm. They did not agree to take more restrictive measures on recreational fisheries. However, a Member State could decide for its vessels/fishers to adopt measures that are more restrictive if deemed necessary for a better management of their fisheries.

Concerning figures mentioned in the question, following the last data received by the Commission, the number of vessels authorised in Italy is 21 purse-seiners, 40 long liners, and 6 traps. From the overall quota of 4 756.49 tons allocated to Italy, 3 459.33 tons have been allocated to purse-seiners, 631.80 tons to long liners and 393.86 tons to traps.

[1] OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p.22

[2] OJ L315, 30.11.2017, p.1

[3] OJ L 252, 16.9.2016, p.1

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