BETA


2005/2190(INI) Review of certain access restrictions in the Common Fisheries Policy, Shetland Box and Plaice Box

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead PECH STIHLER Catherine (icon: PSE PSE)
Committee Opinion ENVI
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2006/07/04
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2006/03/09
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2006/02/14
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2006/02/14
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted a resolution based on the own-initiative report drafted by Catherine STIHLER (PES, UK) in response to the Commission's review of certain access restrictions in the Common Fisheries Policy, namely the Shetland Box and the Plaice Box in the North Sea. Parliament welcomed the decision of the Commission to maintain the Shetland Box for a further three years while further evaluations of the Box are undertaken as a first step towards ensuring that the fishing communities in that region are protected by a fisheries regime which will safeguard their future as a sustainable industry.

It noted that the NSRAC recommended that the Shetland Box be continued pending further evaluation. Parliament considered that, should the proposed further evaluations of the Shetland Box take longer than the three-year period currently anticipated, the current regulation should remain in force, in line with the STECF advice.

It also noted with alarm the finding of the Commission's expert working group established to assess the effectiveness of the Shetland and Plaice Boxes that, in general, stocks of commercial interest in the Shetland Box are outside the safe biological limits, save as regards haddock and saithe. Parliament called on the Commission to make a quantitative evaluation of the likely effects of any changes to the Shetland Box.

Parliament called on the Commission to conduct its review of the Plaice Box in the light of future flatfish management, including the plaice recovery plan. It noted that the expert working group highlighted the socio-economic importance of the Boxes, and further noted that the expert working group considered that one of the objectives of the Shetland Box is to provide protection for fisheries-dependent communities in the north of Scotland.

Documents
2006/02/14
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2006/02/01
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2006/02/01
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Documents
2006/01/31
   EP - Vote in committee
Details

The committee adopted the own-initiative report drawn up by Catherine STIHLER (PES, UK) in response to the Commission's review of certain access restrictions in the Common Fisheries Policy, namely the Shetland Box and the Plaice Box in the North Sea. The report welcomed t he Commission's decision to maintain the Shetland Box for a further three years while further evaluations are undertaken and to retain the Plaice Box and associated restrictions pending further study . It noted that the Commission's Expert Working Group formed to assess the effectiveness of the Shetland and Plaice Boxes had highlighted the socio-economic importance of the Boxes and had stated that one of the objectives of the Shetland Box was to provide protection for fisheries-dependent communities in the north of Scotland .

2005/12/14
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2005/10/27
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2005/10/27
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2005/09/15
   EP - STIHLER Catherine (PSE) appointed as rapporteur in PECH
2005/09/13
   EC - Non-legislative basic document published
Details

Council Regulation 2371/20021/EC requires an assessment of the justification for restrictions on access to waters and resources outside of the 12 mile zone. This document constitutes the Commission’s report and proposals for adjustments to those access restrictions. For reasons given in the report, the scope of the review is restricted to a consideration of the Shetland Box and the Plaice Box.

The Shetland Box was introduced by Article 7 of Council Regulation 170/832/EEC, managed by a special licensing system for species of special importance in the region which are biologically sensitive because of their exploitation characteristics. The licensing system restricts access to fish for demersal species (other than Norway pout and blue whiting) by vessels over 26m in length between perpendiculars. Only vessels from the

UK , France, Germany and Belgium may fish in the Box, with the number of vessels fishing at any one time restricted to 62 UK, 52 French, 12 German and 2 Belgian.

Moving on to the Plaice Box, the North Sea flatfish fisheries generate considerable numbers of discards, especially of plaice in coastal waters. In 1987, the ICES North Sea Flatfish Working Group advised that by closing a coastal area between 53°N and 57°N, the discard rate would decrease substantially. The Commission established in 1989 an area closed to beam trawlers of more than 300 horsepower (hp), or 221 kW, during the 2nd and 3rd quarter. This area has become known as the Plaice Box. In 1994 the closure was extended to the 4th quarter, and since 1995 the box has been closed to those vessels during the whole year.

The boxes were not set up with pre-established criteria to assess their effectiveness, nor with control areas against which to judge their effectiveness. It is therefore impossible to assess what the current situation would have been had they not been established. The approach taken was therefore to look at trends in stock parameters before and during the existence of the boxes, and inside and outside the areas covered by the boxes.

Shetland Box: there are five main commercially important demersal species exploited in the Shetland Box and surrounding area, namely haddock, cod, whiting, saithe and monkfish. There is a disproportionate abundance of mature haddock and whiting in the box compared to the surrounding areas, and also a disproportionate concentration of juvenile haddock and monkfish. The working group could not demonstrate any positive effects of the box on the development of these stocks, which have generally declined in abundance since the box was introduced in 1983. Nor could the working group find clear evidence that the access restrictions were effective in limiting fishing effort. Moreover, the working group found no evidence of any frustrated demand to fish in the Box on the part of Member States eligible to fish under the licensing scheme, at least in recent years. There is however, evidence implying that if the licensing system for vessels of greater than 26 metres in length were now to be relaxed, there could be an increase in their activities to their pre-Box levels, even though for the last few years there has been no frustrated demand for licences. The VMS data analysed by the working group show that there is much activity of larger vessels on the shelf edge at the periphery of the Box, and in the absence of any access restriction they could divert their effort to the relatively rich fishing grounds around Shetland. Even if many of these vessels had no quotas for the key stocks, allowing them to fish freely for non-quota species could lead to the problem of by-catches and discards.

Plaice Box: when the Plaice Box was partially closed in 1989, the total effort (in hp days at sea) from the international otter and beam trawl fleet decreased to 69% of the pre-box level. After the complete closure, effort decreased further to 23% of the pre-Box level. However, the fishing activity by beam trawlers of less than 300 hp and by other fleets (otter trawls, shrimp fleet) has increased in the Plaice Box. And many of the vessels concerned may have an engine power that is significantly higher than the normal amount. The extent of this problem is difficult to estimate, because the engines can usually be very easily tuned or detuned to adjust the power rating.

The working group found clear evidence that the spatial distribution of juvenile plaice has changed such that the importance of the Plaice Box for juvenile plaice has decreased. When the Plaice Box was established about 90% of all undersized plaice were found inside the Box but due to the changed spatial distribution this has recently decreased to less than 70%. While it is clear that the Plaice Box remains an important nursery area for juvenile plaice, it is less clear that the present arrangements are the most effective means of reducing juvenile mortality, especially given the partial nature of the closure and the very high level of discards inside the Box. The effort restrictions apply only to beam trawlers of more than 300 hp, while the effort of smaller beam trawlers and demersal trawlers has increased, therefore undermining the conservation benefits.

With regard to the future of the Boxes, an outline of the results of the expert working group was circulated as the basis for the consultation to all interested parties, including the North Sea Regional Advisory Council (NSRAC), in March 2005. The Commission here outlines the results of the consultation, when comments were received from the United Kingdom and Germany, and from the NSRAC.

The Commission’s own view is that, whereas in the case of the Plaice Box the conservation objective is clear, namely the protection of juvenile plaice, the conservation objectives of the Shetland Box are much more general. The scientific working group could not demonstrate any clear conservation benefit of the Shetland Box and the NSRAC has also failed to put forward convincing reasons why the area covered by the Shetland Box should be treated more favourably than other areas.

Nevertheless, the NSRAC recommended that the Shetland Box be continued while further evaluation of its effect is carried out. The United Kingdom and German authorities have also requested that the Shetland Box be maintained. The STECF also suggested that eliminating the Shetland Box might result in some increase of fishing effort in the area. Given this weight of opinion, the Commission considers that the Shetland Box should be maintained for a further period of three years, while further evaluations are undertaken. The STECF should be asked to recommend how such an evaluation could be done, and whether any changes to the access regime in certain areas analogous to those being suggested for the plaice box could be considered.

With regard to the Plaice Box, the Commission is of the view that the issue should be further examined, but that in the meantime the existing Plaice Box and associated access restrictions should be maintained. However, it is essential that those access restrictions are properly applied, notably by a strict control of engine power to ensure that it is consistent with licensed power. The provisions concerning the Plaice Box are currently laid down in Article 29 of Regulation 850/98 (the “technical measures” regulation). Given that a consultation process has been launched with a view to replacing this Regulation with a simpler regulation, it would be an opportunity to propose revisions to the plaice box, which should be fully integrated with the plaice recovery plan, as part of the same exercise.

Documents

  • Commission response to text adopted in plenary: SP(2006)1347
  • Commission response to text adopted in plenary: SP(2006)1012
  • Results of vote in Parliament: Results of vote in Parliament
  • Decision by Parliament: T6-0057/2006
  • Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading: A6-0016/2006
  • Committee report tabled for plenary: A6-0016/2006
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE367.671
  • Committee draft report: PE362.803
  • Non-legislative basic document published: COM(2005)0422
  • Non-legislative basic document published: EUR-Lex
  • Committee draft report: PE362.803
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE367.671
  • Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading: A6-0016/2006
  • Commission response to text adopted in plenary: SP(2006)1012
  • Commission response to text adopted in plenary: SP(2006)1347

Votes

Rapport Stihler A6-0016/2006 - résolution #

2006/02/14 Outcome: +: 560, -: 56, 0: 15
DE FR IT GB PL NL PT CZ BE HU EL AT LT SE IE FI SK LV DK SI CY LU MT EE ES
Total
92
65
53
69
51
26
21
22
20
20
22
18
12
17
11
11
13
8
9
6
6
5
5
5
44
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
235

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

Finland PPE-DE

2

Denmark PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Slovenia PPE-DE

3

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

Malta PPE-DE

2

Estonia PPE-DE

Against (1)

1
icon: PSE PSE
172

Czechia PSE

2

Lithuania PSE

2

Ireland PSE

1

Denmark PSE

2

Slovenia PSE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PSE

For (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
72

Hungary ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

1

Sweden ALDE

2

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Slovenia ALDE

2

Cyprus ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

For (1)

1

Spain ALDE

Against (1)

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
36

Italy Verts/ALE

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

4

Netherlands Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Sweden Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
34

France GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

2

Portugal GUE/NGL

3

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: UEN UEN
24

Lithuania UEN

2

Ireland UEN

3

Denmark UEN

Abstain (1)

1
icon: NI NI
28

United Kingdom NI

3

Czechia NI

1

Austria NI

2

Slovakia NI

Abstain (2)

2
icon: IND/DEM IND/DEM
30

Italy IND/DEM

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Netherlands IND/DEM

2

Czechia IND/DEM

Abstain (1)

1

Greece IND/DEM

Abstain (1)

1

Sweden IND/DEM

3

Ireland IND/DEM

For (1)

1

Denmark IND/DEM

Against (1)

1

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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activities
  • date: 2005-09-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2005/0422/COM_COM(2005)0422_EN.pdf title: COM(2005)0422 type: Non-legislative basic document published celexid: CELEX:52005DC0422:EN body: EC commission: type: Non-legislative basic document published
  • date: 2005-10-27T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee: ENVI body: EP responsible: True committee: PECH date: 2005-09-15T00:00:00 committee_full: Fisheries rapporteur: group: PSE name: STIHLER Catherine
  • date: 2006-01-31T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee: ENVI body: EP responsible: True committee: PECH date: 2005-09-15T00:00:00 committee_full: Fisheries rapporteur: group: PSE name: STIHLER Catherine type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • date: 2006-02-01T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-16&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0016/2006 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2006-02-14T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=4483&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-57 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0057/2006 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
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docs
  • date: 2005-09-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2005/0422/COM_COM(2005)0422_EN.pdf title: COM(2005)0422 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2005&nu_doc=422 title: EUR-Lex summary: Council Regulation 2371/20021/EC requires an assessment of the justification for restrictions on access to waters and resources outside of the 12 mile zone. This document constitutes the Commission’s report and proposals for adjustments to those access restrictions. For reasons given in the report, the scope of the review is restricted to a consideration of the Shetland Box and the Plaice Box. The Shetland Box was introduced by Article 7 of Council Regulation 170/832/EEC, managed by a special licensing system for species of special importance in the region which are biologically sensitive because of their exploitation characteristics. The licensing system restricts access to fish for demersal species (other than Norway pout and blue whiting) by vessels over 26m in length between perpendiculars. Only vessels from the UK , France, Germany and Belgium may fish in the Box, with the number of vessels fishing at any one time restricted to 62 UK, 52 French, 12 German and 2 Belgian. Moving on to the Plaice Box, the North Sea flatfish fisheries generate considerable numbers of discards, especially of plaice in coastal waters. In 1987, the ICES North Sea Flatfish Working Group advised that by closing a coastal area between 53°N and 57°N, the discard rate would decrease substantially. The Commission established in 1989 an area closed to beam trawlers of more than 300 horsepower (hp), or 221 kW, during the 2nd and 3rd quarter. This area has become known as the Plaice Box. In 1994 the closure was extended to the 4th quarter, and since 1995 the box has been closed to those vessels during the whole year. The boxes were not set up with pre-established criteria to assess their effectiveness, nor with control areas against which to judge their effectiveness. It is therefore impossible to assess what the current situation would have been had they not been established. The approach taken was therefore to look at trends in stock parameters before and during the existence of the boxes, and inside and outside the areas covered by the boxes. Shetland Box: there are five main commercially important demersal species exploited in the Shetland Box and surrounding area, namely haddock, cod, whiting, saithe and monkfish. There is a disproportionate abundance of mature haddock and whiting in the box compared to the surrounding areas, and also a disproportionate concentration of juvenile haddock and monkfish. The working group could not demonstrate any positive effects of the box on the development of these stocks, which have generally declined in abundance since the box was introduced in 1983. Nor could the working group find clear evidence that the access restrictions were effective in limiting fishing effort. Moreover, the working group found no evidence of any frustrated demand to fish in the Box on the part of Member States eligible to fish under the licensing scheme, at least in recent years. There is however, evidence implying that if the licensing system for vessels of greater than 26 metres in length were now to be relaxed, there could be an increase in their activities to their pre-Box levels, even though for the last few years there has been no frustrated demand for licences. The VMS data analysed by the working group show that there is much activity of larger vessels on the shelf edge at the periphery of the Box, and in the absence of any access restriction they could divert their effort to the relatively rich fishing grounds around Shetland. Even if many of these vessels had no quotas for the key stocks, allowing them to fish freely for non-quota species could lead to the problem of by-catches and discards. Plaice Box: when the Plaice Box was partially closed in 1989, the total effort (in hp days at sea) from the international otter and beam trawl fleet decreased to 69% of the pre-box level. After the complete closure, effort decreased further to 23% of the pre-Box level. However, the fishing activity by beam trawlers of less than 300 hp and by other fleets (otter trawls, shrimp fleet) has increased in the Plaice Box. And many of the vessels concerned may have an engine power that is significantly higher than the normal amount. The extent of this problem is difficult to estimate, because the engines can usually be very easily tuned or detuned to adjust the power rating. The working group found clear evidence that the spatial distribution of juvenile plaice has changed such that the importance of the Plaice Box for juvenile plaice has decreased. When the Plaice Box was established about 90% of all undersized plaice were found inside the Box but due to the changed spatial distribution this has recently decreased to less than 70%. While it is clear that the Plaice Box remains an important nursery area for juvenile plaice, it is less clear that the present arrangements are the most effective means of reducing juvenile mortality, especially given the partial nature of the closure and the very high level of discards inside the Box. The effort restrictions apply only to beam trawlers of more than 300 hp, while the effort of smaller beam trawlers and demersal trawlers has increased, therefore undermining the conservation benefits. With regard to the future of the Boxes, an outline of the results of the expert working group was circulated as the basis for the consultation to all interested parties, including the North Sea Regional Advisory Council (NSRAC), in March 2005. The Commission here outlines the results of the consultation, when comments were received from the United Kingdom and Germany, and from the NSRAC. The Commission’s own view is that, whereas in the case of the Plaice Box the conservation objective is clear, namely the protection of juvenile plaice, the conservation objectives of the Shetland Box are much more general. The scientific working group could not demonstrate any clear conservation benefit of the Shetland Box and the NSRAC has also failed to put forward convincing reasons why the area covered by the Shetland Box should be treated more favourably than other areas. Nevertheless, the NSRAC recommended that the Shetland Box be continued while further evaluation of its effect is carried out. The United Kingdom and German authorities have also requested that the Shetland Box be maintained. The STECF also suggested that eliminating the Shetland Box might result in some increase of fishing effort in the area. Given this weight of opinion, the Commission considers that the Shetland Box should be maintained for a further period of three years, while further evaluations are undertaken. The STECF should be asked to recommend how such an evaluation could be done, and whether any changes to the access regime in certain areas analogous to those being suggested for the plaice box could be considered. With regard to the Plaice Box, the Commission is of the view that the issue should be further examined, but that in the meantime the existing Plaice Box and associated access restrictions should be maintained. However, it is essential that those access restrictions are properly applied, notably by a strict control of engine power to ensure that it is consistent with licensed power. The provisions concerning the Plaice Box are currently laid down in Article 29 of Regulation 850/98 (the “technical measures” regulation). Given that a consultation process has been launched with a view to replacing this Regulation with a simpler regulation, it would be an opportunity to propose revisions to the plaice box, which should be fully integrated with the plaice recovery plan, as part of the same exercise. type: Follow-up document body: EC
  • date: 2005-10-27T00:00:00 docs: title: PE362.803 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2005-12-14T00:00:00 docs: title: PE367.671 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2006-02-01T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-16&language=EN title: A6-0016/2006 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP
  • date: 2006-03-09T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=4483&j=1&l=en title: SP(2006)1012 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
  • date: 2006-07-04T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=4483&j=0&l=en title: SP(2006)1347 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
events
  • date: 2005-09-13T00:00:00 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2005/0422/COM_COM(2005)0422_EN.pdf title: COM(2005)0422 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2005&nu_doc=422 title: EUR-Lex summary: Council Regulation 2371/20021/EC requires an assessment of the justification for restrictions on access to waters and resources outside of the 12 mile zone. This document constitutes the Commission’s report and proposals for adjustments to those access restrictions. For reasons given in the report, the scope of the review is restricted to a consideration of the Shetland Box and the Plaice Box. The Shetland Box was introduced by Article 7 of Council Regulation 170/832/EEC, managed by a special licensing system for species of special importance in the region which are biologically sensitive because of their exploitation characteristics. The licensing system restricts access to fish for demersal species (other than Norway pout and blue whiting) by vessels over 26m in length between perpendiculars. Only vessels from the UK, France, Germany and Belgium may fish in the Box, with the number of vessels fishing at any one time restricted to 62 UK, 52 French, 12 German and 2 Belgian. Moving on to the Plaice Box, the North Sea flatfish fisheries generate considerable numbers of discards, especially of plaice in coastal waters. In 1987, the ICES North Sea Flatfish Working Group advised that by closing a coastal area between 53°N and 57°N, the discard rate would decrease substantially. The Commission established in 1989 an area closed to beam trawlers of more than 300 horsepower (hp), or 221 kW, during the 2nd and 3rd quarter. This area has become known as the Plaice Box. In 1994 the closure was extended to the 4th quarter, and since 1995 the box has been closed to those vessels during the whole year. The boxes were not set up with pre-established criteria to assess their effectiveness, nor with control areas against which to judge their effectiveness. It is therefore impossible to assess what the current situation would have been had they not been established. The approach taken was therefore to look at trends in stock parameters before and during the existence of the boxes, and inside and outside the areas covered by the boxes. Shetland Box: t here are five main commercially important demersal species exploited in the Shetland Box and surrounding area, namely haddock, cod, whiting, saithe and monkfish. There is a disproportionate abundance of mature haddock and whiting in the box compared to the surrounding areas, and also a disproportionate concentration of juvenile haddock and monkfish. The working group could not demonstrate any positive effects of the box on the development of these stocks, which have generally declined in abundance since the box was introduced in 1983. Nor could the working group find clear evidence that the access restrictions were effective in limiting fishing effort. Moreover, the working group found no evidence of any frustrated demand to fish in the Box on the part of Member States eligible to fish under the licensing scheme, at least in recent years. There is however, evidence implying that if the licensing system for vessels of greater than 26 metres in length were now to be relaxed, there could be an increase in their activities to their pre-Box levels, even though for the last few years there has been no frustrated demand for licences. The VMS data analysed by the working group show that there is much activity of larger vessels on the shelf edge at the periphery of the Box, and in the absence of any access restriction they could divert their effort to the relatively rich fishing grounds around Shetland. Even if many of these vessels had no quotas for the key stocks, allowing them to fish freely for non-quota species could lead to the problem of by-catches and discards. Plaice Box: when the Plaice Box was partially closed in 1989, the total effort (in hp days at sea) from the international otter and beam trawl fleet decreased to 69% of the pre-box level. After the complete closure, effort decreased further to 23% of the pre-Box level. However, the fishing activity by beam trawlers of less than 300 hp and by other fleets (otter trawls, shrimp fleet) has increased in the Plaice Box. And many of the vessels concerned may have an engine power that is significantly higher than the normal amount. The extent of this problem is difficult to estimate, because the engines can usually be very easily tuned or detuned to adjust the power rating. The working group found clear evidence that the spatial distribution of juvenile plaice has changed such that the importance of the Plaice Box for juvenile plaice has decreased. When the Plaice Box was established about 90% of all undersized plaice were found inside the Box but due to the changed spatial distribution this has recently decreased to less than 70%. While it is clear that the Plaice Box remains an important nursery area for juvenile plaice, it is less clear that the present arrangements are the most effective means of reducing juvenile mortality, especially given the partial nature of the closure and the very high level of discards inside the Box. The effort restrictions apply only to beam trawlers of more than 300 hp, while the effort of smaller beam trawlers and demersal trawlers has increased, therefore undermining the conservation benefits. With regard to the future of the Boxes, an outline of the results of the expert working group was circulated as the basis for the consultation to all interested parties, including the North Sea Regional Advisory Council (NSRAC), in March 2005. The Commission here outlines the results of the consultation, when comments were received from the United Kingdom and Germany, and from the NSRAC. The Commission’s own view is that, whereas in the case of the Plaice Box the conservation objective is clear, namely the protection of juvenile plaice, the conservation objectives of the Shetland Box are much more general. The scientific working group could not demonstrate any clear conservation benefit of the Shetland Box and the NSRAC has also failed to put forward convincing reasons why the area covered by the Shetland Box should be treated more favourably than other areas. Nevertheless, the NSRAC recommended that the Shetland Box be continued while further evaluation of its effect is carried out. The United Kingdom and German authorities have also requested that the Shetland Box be maintained. The STECF also suggested that eliminating the Shetland Box might result in some increase of fishing effort in the area. Given this weight of opinion, the Commission considers that the Shetland Box should be maintained for a further period of three years, while further evaluations are undertaken. The STECF should be asked to recommend how such an evaluation could be done, and whether any changes to the access regime in certain areas analogous to those being suggested for the plaice box could be considered. With regard to the Plaice Box, the Commission is of the view that the issue should be further examined, but that in the meantime the existing Plaice Box and associated access restrictions should be maintained. However, it is essential that those access restrictions are properly applied, notably by a strict control of engine power to ensure that it is consistent with licensed power. The provisions concerning the Plaice Box are currently laid down in Article 29 of Regulation 850/98 (the “technical measures” regulation). Given that a consultation process has been launched with a view to replacing this Regulation with a simpler regulation, it would be an opportunity to propose revisions to the plaice box, which should be fully integrated with the plaice recovery plan, as part of the same exercise.
  • date: 2005-10-27T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2006-01-31T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP summary: The committee adopted the own-initiative report drawn up by Catherine STIHLER (PES, UK) in response to the Commission's review of certain access restrictions in the Common Fisheries Policy, namely the Shetland Box and the Plaice Box in the North Sea. The report welcomed t he Commission's decision to maintain the Shetland Box for a further three years while further evaluations are undertaken and to retain the Plaice Box and associated restrictions pending further study . It noted that the Commission's Expert Working Group formed to assess the effectiveness of the Shetland and Plaice Boxes had highlighted the socio-economic importance of the Boxes and had stated that one of the objectives of the Shetland Box was to provide protection for fisheries-dependent communities in the north of Scotland .
  • date: 2006-02-01T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-16&language=EN title: A6-0016/2006
  • date: 2006-02-14T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=4483&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2006-02-14T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-57 title: T6-0057/2006 summary: The European Parliament adopted a resolution based on the own-initiative report drafted by Catherine STIHLER (PES, UK) in response to the Commission's review of certain access restrictions in the Common Fisheries Policy, namely the Shetland Box and the Plaice Box in the North Sea. Parliament welcomed the decision of the Commission to maintain the Shetland Box for a further three years while further evaluations of the Box are undertaken as a first step towards ensuring that the fishing communities in that region are protected by a fisheries regime which will safeguard their future as a sustainable industry. It noted that the NSRAC recommended that the Shetland Box be continued pending further evaluation. Parliament considered that, should the proposed further evaluations of the Shetland Box take longer than the three-year period currently anticipated, the current regulation should remain in force, in line with the STECF advice. It also noted with alarm the finding of the Commission's expert working group established to assess the effectiveness of the Shetland and Plaice Boxes that, in general, stocks of commercial interest in the Shetland Box are outside the safe biological limits, save as regards haddock and saithe. Parliament called on the Commission to make a quantitative evaluation of the likely effects of any changes to the Shetland Box. Parliament called on the Commission to conduct its review of the Plaice Box in the light of future flatfish management, including the plaice recovery plan. It noted that the expert working group highlighted the socio-economic importance of the Boxes, and further noted that the expert working group considered that one of the objectives of the Shetland Box is to provide protection for fisheries-dependent communities in the north of Scotland.
  • date: 2006-02-14T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
links
other
    procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
    Old
    PECH/6/30446
    New
    • PECH/6/30446
    procedure/legal_basis/0
    Rules of Procedure EP 052
    procedure/legal_basis/0
    Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
    procedure/subject
    Old
    • 3.15.01 Fish stocks, conservation of fishery resources
    • 3.15.04 Management of fisheries, fisheries, fishing grounds
    • 3.15.07 Fisheries inspectorate, surveillance of fishing vessels and areas
    • 5.05 Economic growth
    New
    3.15.01
    Fish stocks, conservation of fishery resources
    3.15.04
    Management of fisheries, fisheries, fishing grounds
    3.15.07
    Fisheries inspectorate, surveillance of fishing vessels and areas
    5.05
    Economic growth
    activities
    • date: 2005-09-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2005/0422/COM_COM(2005)0422_EN.pdf title: COM(2005)0422 type: Non-legislative basic document published celexid: CELEX:52005DC0422:EN body: EC commission: type: Non-legislative basic document published
    • date: 2005-10-27T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee: ENVI body: EP responsible: True committee: PECH date: 2005-09-15T00:00:00 committee_full: Fisheries rapporteur: group: PSE name: STIHLER Catherine
    • date: 2006-01-31T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee: ENVI body: EP responsible: True committee: PECH date: 2005-09-15T00:00:00 committee_full: Fisheries rapporteur: group: PSE name: STIHLER Catherine type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
    • date: 2006-02-01T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-16&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0016/2006 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
    • date: 2006-02-14T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=4483&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-57 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0057/2006 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
    committees
    • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee: ENVI
    • body: EP responsible: True committee: PECH date: 2005-09-15T00:00:00 committee_full: Fisheries rapporteur: group: PSE name: STIHLER Catherine
    links
    other
      procedure
      dossier_of_the_committee
      PECH/6/30446
      reference
      2005/2190(INI)
      title
      Review of certain access restrictions in the Common Fisheries Policy, Shetland Box and Plaice Box
      legal_basis
      Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
      stage_reached
      Procedure completed
      subtype
      Initiative
      type
      INI - Own-initiative procedure
      subject