News Digest n.11 / 2023


The EU and UK agree on fishing opportunities for 2024 worth around €1 billion to EU fishers

The EU and the UK have reached an agreement on fishing opportunities for 2024 in the Northeast Atlantic, securing nearly 388,000 tonnes for the EU fleet. The agreement, reached under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, will contribute to sustainable fish stock management and stability for the respective fleets and operators. The catch limits will be submitted for incorporation into the Fishing Opportunities Regulation for 2024.

Native oyster nursery installed in Belfast port

An oyster nursey has been installed in Belfast port to restore native oyster populations, improve water quality, and boost marine biodiversity. The nursery, located off the pontoon at the AC Marriott Hotel at City Quays, will house around 600 native oysters, which will form reefs and contribute to improving water quality. The project is part of Ulster Wildlife's efforts to restore native oysters in Belfast Lough.

Warming Mediterranean will drive bluefin tuna elsewhere to spawn

A study published in Nature Communications suggests that as marine temperatures in the Mediterranean sea rise beyond 28ºC due to climate change, juvenile bluefin tuna will be forced to move their nursery areas to cooler waters, such as the Bay of Biscay, within 50 years. This poses a significant risk to tuna populations, as they may be accidentally caught in existing fisheries. Researchers used the chemistry of tuna otoliths to measure the "pace of life" of bluefin tuna.

Overfishing declines in Mediterranean, while aquaculture is on the rise - FAO report

New FAO report shows overfishing in the Mediterranean and Black Sea is decreasing, with the percentage of overfished stocks dropping below 60% for the first time. This is a 15% improvement over the last year. However, the sector still faces challenges, particularly sustainability. The report also highlights the significant reduction in fishing pressure for key commercial stocks, such as European hake, turbot, and common sole. Turkey, Italy, and Tunisia are leading nations in capture fisheries production, while marine aquaculture production has nearly doubled over the past decade.

COP28: European Commission commits €1 million to Blue Mediterranean Partnership

The European Commission has pledged €1 million to the Blue Mediterranean Partnership, a collaborative initiative aiming to promote sustainable blue economy investments in non-EU Mediterranean countries, particularly the Southern Neighbourhood. The initiative, led by the Union for the Mediterranean and the EU, focuses on areas like plastic waste reduction, coastal resilience, sustainable tourism, wastewater treatment, circular economy, and marine biodiversity.

EU donates EUR 1 million to WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism

The European Union has donated EUR 1 million to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism to assist developing and least-developed members in implementing the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. The EU's contribution brings the total contribution to EUR 7.5 million. The Agreement will enter into force upon acceptance by two-thirds of the membership, and the fund is operated by the WTO with partner organizations like the Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and World Bank Group.

Commission to explore the future of fishers up to 2050

The European Commission has launched 'Fishers of the Future', a participatory project examining the future role of fishers in society up to 2050. The project will focus on factors influencing the sector's sustainability, fishers' roles beyond their core business, and challenges arising from interactions with other maritime actors. The project will involve local stakeholders, inform potential transitions within the fisheries sector, and provide European institutions with decision-making tools. The project will run until December 2024.

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