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Landing the blame: the influence of EU Member States on quota setting

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Publication details

JournalMarine Policy
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Nov 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 21 Nov 2015
DatePublished (current) - Feb 2016
Pages (from-to)9-15
Early online date21/11/15
Original languageEnglish


Fisheries in European Union (EU) waters have been managed under the Common Fisheries Policy since 1983. The main regulatory tool in EU fisheries management is the use of Total Allowable Catches (TACs). In principle, TACs are set according to biological scientific advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) which recommends catch limits with the objective of maximising catches in a sustainable manner. The objective of this paper is to compare TACs set by the EU and its Member States between 2001 and 2015 with those recommended by ICES in their annual scientific advice in order to (a) investigate the level of compliance with scientific advice by the European Council and, (b) consider whether particular Member States have received more TACs above advice than others. For the time-series analysed, the European Council set TACs above scientific advice by an average of 20% per year, with around 7 out of every 10 TACs exceeding advice. Of all Member States, Denmark and the United Kingdom received the highest TACs in volume above scientific advice. Relative to the size of their TAC however, Spain and Portugal exceeded advice by the greatest percentage. Greater transparency is required to determine what takes place during the closed door negotiations and to improve the fishery sustainability credentials of the EU and its Member States.

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© 2015, Elsevier Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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