Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union in the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission
1. This Council Decision and annexes establish the general principles and objectives for the EU as a member of the Western and Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (WECAFC) for the next five year period (2019-2023).
2. These principles broadly mirror the key aspects of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and include a commitment to ensuring that WECAFC adopts a sustainable ecosystems based approach to fisheries management, avoiding and reducing unwanted catches and promoting economically viable and competitive fisheries.
3. The area under the competence of WECAFC covers over 15 million km² in the Western Central Atlantic and portions of the northern part of the Southwest Atlantic. There are no direct UK domestic fisheries interests in this area.
4. However, a number of British Overseas Territories (OTs) are situated in the WECAFC area and therefore the UK is a member of this organisation, as the UK is responsible for foreign relations of the OTs and OTs have a clear interest in fisheries management in their own waters. These OTs are Montserrat, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos and Bermuda.
5. Sustainable and responsible fisheries management is a keystone of UK fisheries policy and we are therefore supportive of the approach that the EU is seeking to take as a member of WECAFC.