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[ FISHERIES ] A number of institutions are involved in deciding how much ďŹ sh can be harvested from the sea

The complex path from stock analyses to ďŹ shing quotas Fishing quotas have an immediate impact on the players in the ďŹ sheries sector and the release of the numbers is closely watched by all concerned. The route by which raw data is converted into the precise ďŹ gures that are published as ďŹ shing quotas is long, with inputs from several institutions, and gives an idea of the enormous signiďŹ cance attached to these numbers.

Commercial fishing is the culmination of a long process to establish how much can be sustainably harvested from a stock. Here, sprat from the Gulf of Riga has just been landed.

F

ish, individually or in swarms, can usually be found in places offering them the best for their lives: where they find food, where it is safe to reproduce and survive as species. Such preferences, together with environmental conditions, may vary from year to year, and hence the number of fish coming together may vary as well. Fishermen know where to find the fish

and are familiar with annual fluctuations. Fishing grounds, when seen as fish habitats, do not feature national borders, whereas fishing vessels carry the flags of their home ports. Fish stocks which are international by nature thus have national owners when turned into catches. The subsets of these fishable stocks allocated to and harvested by sovereign states are called fishing quotas.

A very brief history of quotas Fishing quotas in Europe have only a brief history which started after the two World Wars in the last century. Scientists noted that fishery resources in the North Sea increased in abundance after the wars and concluded that this was not unconnected to the notable decline of fishing due to wartime

conditions. Fishing regulations were introduced regarding type and use of gear and were later extended to the amount of harvest, i.e. quotas. The regulatory efforts ultimately lead to the Law-of-the-Sea Conferences and the establishment of exclusive economic zones (EEZ) in 1982. In Europe today, fishing quotas are issued to member

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Profile for Eurofish

Eurofish Magazine 5 2017  

Featuring Albania's fisheries and aquaculture sector, this issue also looks at EU and Japan's trade agreement while the fisheries section co...

Eurofish Magazine 5 2017  

Featuring Albania's fisheries and aquaculture sector, this issue also looks at EU and Japan's trade agreement while the fisheries section co...

Profile for eurofish