Restrictions to stay in fishing areas – IN the absence of what it says is clear-cut evidence on their impact and following consultation with stakeholders, the European Commission proposes the temporary retention of the current restrictions on access to two fishing areas known as the Shetland Box and the Plaice Box.
The conditions on access to these areas for some categories of vessels would remain until further evaluation is carried out as to their beneficial impact on the fish stocks concerned. In the case of the Shetland Box, the Commission proposes to keep the measures in place for a further three years. For the Plaice Box, however, no date has been set as there is uncertainty over the length and extent of the study needed, given differing views among stakeholders on what should happen next.
The Commission recommends, however, that enforcement of the rules on access to the Plaice Box be strengthened to ensure their effectiveness. In tabling this Communication, the Commission says it fulfils an obligation laid out in the 2002 basic Regulation on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), requiring it to assess the justification for restrictions on access to waters and fish resources beyond Member States’ 12-mile coastal bands and, if required, to propose adjustments to those restrictions.