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2015/2596(RSP) - 12/03/2015 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading

The European Parliament adopted by 501 to 57 votes with 40 abstentions a resolution tabled by the Committee on Fisheries on sustainable exploitation of sea bass.

It noted that the Commission had taken emergency measures prohibiting sea bass fishing using pelagic trawls in the Celtic Sea, the Channel, the Irish Sea and the southern North Sea until 30 April 2015. Members felt that the scientific information on the stock status of sea bass was insufficient, in particular the data available on precise boundaries, stock migration paths and the places of reproduction of the sea bass. They called on the Commission and the Member States to:

·         evaluate the status of the stock of sea bass and its delimitation, migration of the species and the exact places of reproduction;

·         build on the European Fund for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, which provides substantial funding for the collection of scientific data;

Furthermore, Parliament considered that the Commission should propose a multiannual management plan on sea bass – which should involve professional and recreational fishermen and advisory councils in its preparation - in order to bring the stock to a level above the maximum sustainable yield. Such plans should be prepared in accordance with the codecision procedure.

Recalling that the sea bass was not a species subject to total allowable catches (TACs), Members felt it important to evaluate the setting of a TAC and the need for a scientifically sound decision on minimum landing size and spatio-temporal closures in order to protect breeding and other technical measures. Whilst they recognised the problems that the introduction of a TAC would generate, particularly as regards the calculation of historical catches, the distribution of quotas at national level between the different activities and the difficulty of covering recreational fisheries, they stressed that such a measure must be considered particularly in the light of the absolute necessity of dealing with the state of sea bass stocks