Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing a multiannual management plan for bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, amending Regulations (EC) No 1936/2001, (EU) 2017/2107, and (EU) 2019/833 and repealing Regulation (EU) 2016/1627
1. This is a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and European Council to establish a multi-annual management plan (MAP) for Bluefin tuna (BFT) in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. It requires the amendment of three regulations and the repeal of one regulation.
2. The European Union is a Contracting Party to the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, which provides for a framework of regional cooperation on the conservation and management of tunas and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and the adjoining seas through the setting up of an International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). At the 21st Special Meeting of ICCAT in 2018, ICCAT adopted Recommendation 18-02 establishing a multiannual management plan for BFT tuna in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
3. The purpose of this proposal is to implement ICCAT Recommendation 18-02 into EU law to allow the Union to comply with its international obligations and to provide operators with legal certainty regarding rules and obligations. The main changes between current EU regulations and Recommendation 18-02 are that the latter provides for a more flexible management plan than the existing rules for stock recovery, whilst also providing more restrictive measures for control of BFT farms.
4. The main changes between the existing rules and new measures are as follows:
a. An extension of open season for purse seiners totalling 10 days, unless Member States establish otherwise in their annual fishing plans.
b. A bycatch limit increase of 20%, as compared to 5% in the previous measure (EU 2016/1627).