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Document 52001DC0541

Annual Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the results of the multi-annual guidance programmes for the fishing fleets at the end of 2000

/* COM/2001/0541 final */

In force

52001DC0541

Annual Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the results of the multi-annual guidance programmes for the fishing fleets at the end of 2000 /* COM/2001/0541 final */


ANNUAL REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT on the results of the multi-annual guidance programmes for the fishing fleets at the end of 2000

Contents

Executive Summary

Introduction

Measurement of capacity and effort

Fleet register

Global results

Results by Member State

Belgium

Germany

Denmark

Spain

France

Greece

Ireland

Italy

Netherlands

Portugal

United Kingdom

Sweden

Finland

Conclusions

Executive Summary

This communication concerns the report to the Council and the European Parliament on the progress of the fourth multi-annual guidance programme (MAGP IV) for the fishing fleets. The report is produced each year in accordance with the provisions of Article 5 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2792/1999.

These annual reports aim to ensure the transparent implementation of the MAGP IV, which fixes fleet capacity and fishing effort objectives that must be achieved progressively over the period 1.1.1997 to 31.12.2001. This year's report is on the progress of the programmes at the end of 2000.

Using the data from the fishing vessel register of the Community and the reports submitted to the Commission by the national authorities, it summarises the evolution of the tonnage and power of the fleets in comparison with the intermediate and final objectives of the MAGP IV. The report is therefore entirely factual.

During the first four years of the MAGP IV, the Community fleet was reduced by 49,983 GT and 459,866 kW, which represent reductions in fleet capacity of approximately 2.5% and 5.9% respectively. At 1 January 2001 the Community fleet was already approximately 17% below the final MAGP IV objectives in terms of tonnage and 12% below the final MAGP IV objectives in terms of power.

The degree to which the MAGPs have been respected varies greatly from Member State to Member State. Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Finland have met their objectives in all segments of their fleets. Germany, Greece, Ireland, and Sweden have met their global objectives, but have further reductions to make in one or more segments. France, Italy, and the Netherlands have not yet met the global objectives of their MAGP. According to the data in the fleet register, the United Kingdom has met its global objectives in terms of power but not in terms of tonnage. However, according to the report submitted by the United Kingdom, the tonnage objectives adjusted for the effect of fleet remeasurement in units of GT have been met.

Introduction

For each Member State in the Community, a multi-annual guidance programme (MAGP) fixes objectives for reducing the size of the fishing fleet in order to bring fishing effort into line with available resources. The fourth generation of MAGPs, adopted in December 1997 [1], fix objectives for the period 1997-2001.

[1] Commission Decisions 98/119/EC to 98/131/EC (OJ L 39 of 12.2.1998, pp. 1-84).

Article 5 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2792/1999 [2], concerning the new Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance, requires the Member States to submit to the Commission, before 1 May each year, a report on the situation of their fleets at the end of the preceding year with respect to their MAGP objectives. Using these reports, the Commission should produce its own report to the Council and the European Parliament within three months of the 1 May deadline.

[2] OJ L 337, 30.12.1999, p. 10.

The present report is the third in the series on the results of the fourth generation of programmes (MAGP IV) [3].

[3] COM(1999) 175 final, COM(2000) 738 final.

Measurement of capacity and effort

For the purposes of the MAGP, the capacity of a vessel is defined as its tonnage in gross tonnes (GT) and its propulsion power in kW. The fishing effort is defined as the product of capacity and the number of days spent at sea. There are therefore two measures of effort, one in GT days and the other in kW days.

Remeasurement of tonnage

The tonnage objectives of the MAGP III (1992 - 1996) were expressed in gross registered tonnes (GRT), though in almost all Member States a mixture of tonnage measurements were used to measure capacity, some vessels being measured in GRT, others in GT and others in nationally defined units of tonnage.

Council Regulation (EC) No 3259/94 [4] and Commission Decision No 95/84/EC [5] were adopted in order to harmonise tonnage measurements, requiring that all fishing vessels be measured in GT. They also simplify the definition of GT for vessels less than 15 metres in length overall and specify formulae to estimate the GT of vessels between 15 and 24 metres length while awaiting full remeasurement.

[4] OJ L 339, 29.12.1994, p. 11.

[5] OJ L 67, 25.3.1995, p. 33.

As agreed with the Member States, the conversion of the tonnage objectives to units of GT was done at the time the MAGP IV was adopted. However, some Member States had made little progress in remeasuring their fleets at the time of adoption, so the objectives, although nominally in units of GT, remained a mixture of GT, estimates of GT, GRT and national units.

Member States have until the end of 2003 to complete the remeasurement of their fleets in units of GT. As this remeasurement progresses, the estimates of GT are replaced by real values in the fleet register. This inevitably alters the comparability of the situation and the objectives that were fixed for tonnage. Strictly speaking the tonnage objectives should be recalculated every time a vessel is remeasured. However, for practical reasons no formal revision of the objectives will be made until the end of the MAGP IV period. Until that time there will always be some degree of uncertainty when comparing the situation of the fleet with the tonnage objectives.

Cumulative fishing effort objectives

For those Member States that have opted to adjust activity instead of capacity to meet the objectives, the cumulative fishing effort objectives are shown in this report. In the MAGP Decisions published in the official journal, only the fishing effort objectives at the start and at the end of the period are shown. These are used to calculate the cumulative objectives in the following way. Noting that the cumulative fishing effort objectives would be identical whether it is capacity or activity that is reduced over the period of the programme, a curve was drawn of the continuous decrease in capacity over the period 1.1.1996 - 31.12.2001 necessary to meet each of the intermediate objectives expressed purely in terms of capacity. The area under this curve was then multiplied by the baseline level of activity expressed in days per year, to arrive at the cumulative fishing effort over the period.

Fleet register

The multi-annual guidance programmes are monitored using the declarations to the fishing vessel register of the Community. The register contains information on the physical characteristics of all the approximately 100,000 commercial marine fishing vessels in the European fleets, together with information on the MAGP segment to which each vessel belongs and the fishing gears that are installed. It is intended to provide the reference data on the fleet for all aspects of the Common Fisheries Policy.

In previous reports on the results of the MAGP, large discrepancies were sometimes noted between the information contained in the fleet register and that supplied by the Member States in their annual national reports. One of the reasons for these discrepancies was that the declarations from the Member States were screened for errors before being accepted into the database. A rejected or suspect declaration was returned to the Member State for correction or checking. This was intended to ensure the reliability of the register, but in practise often led to a divergence between the data in the national registers and those in the Community register.

These procedures have now been changed. Member States no longer have to send their declarations to DG Fisheries for processing because they now have direct access to their own data in the Community fleet register via the internet using the FRONT (Fleet Register on the Net) application. This means that the national authorities can make immediate corrections if the data in the Community register begin to diverge from those in the national database. In view of this, the capacity figures used in the present report are based on the information on the Community fleet register.

However some inconsistencies can still be found in the fleet register information. The most important of these is the fact that there are some vessels without a valid MAGP segment code. In the tables that follow these vessels have been included as unclassified. The Commission services are working in co-operation with the Member States concerned in order to rectify this.

Global results

In the table Total Community Fleet by Member State, the percentage change in tonnage and power over the period 1 January 1997 - 31 December 2000 is indicated. However, it should be noted that in the case of tonnage this figure may underestimate the real percentage change due to the progressive remeasurement of vessels in units of GT during the course of the period.

The * placed next to the tonnage heading (GT*) indicates that the totals underneath are calculated mixing GT and GRT values. In order to find the total, the GT value is taken first, whether it is the measured value or an estimation. When GT is not available the GRT value is used.

a) Compliance with capacity objective

The following table summarises the evolution of the entire Community fleet since the start of the MAGP IV. The shaded rows indicate the Member States that have chosen to achieve the objectives of one or more segments of their fleets by the adjustment of both activity and capacity. Compliance with the effort objectives fixed for those segments are dealt with under point b).

Since 1 January 1997 the fleet has been reduced by approximately 2.5 % in tonnage and 5.9 % in power. The Community fleet is already below the capacity objectives fixed for 31 December 2001.

Total Community Fleet by Member State

>TABLE POSITION>

Bold type indicates that the objectives have not been met. It should be noted that the tonnage objectives have not been revised to take into account the effects of remeasurement in units of GT, so the comparisons between the situation and the objectives are uncertain.

The vessels based in the French overseas departments (representing approximately 17,000 GT) have not been included in this table since the figures for the situation of this part of the French fleet for 1st January 1997 are not available.

Summary of compliance with capacity objectives by segment

>TABLE POSITION>

b) Compliance with effort objectives

Six Member States chose to achieve their MAGP IV objectives by managing activity as well as capacity in one or more segments of their fleets. In order to do this the Member States were obliged to define one or more fisheries in each of the segments concerned. Fishing effort objectives were then defined for each of these fisheries. All of the fishing effort exerted by vessels in the segment must be accounted for in this way; there can be no fishing effort in a segment that is not attributed to any of the fisheries that have been defined.

Unlike capacity, fishing effort cannot be measured for a particular point in time. The effort objectives are therefore cumulative over the period of the programme. The following table shows the effort exerted in each of the fisheries from 1 January 1997 until 31 December 2000 compared with the cumulative effort objectives for the end of 2000. The last two columns in this table show the extent to which the objectives have been met. Where the objectives have been exceeded, this is shown in bold.

Compliance with effort objectives

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

Bold type indicates that the objectives have not been met.

Results by Member State

The following tables and charts summarise the results of the MAGP IV at the end of 2000 for each of the Member States.

The table under point a), "situation of the fleet", shows the intermediate capacity objectives for the end of 2000 compared to the situation of the fleet according to the Fleet Register on that date.

The two charts under point b), "fleet evolution", show the evolution of the total capacity of the fleet for each Member State since the beginning of MAGP IV.

The table under point c), "fishing effort", gives the fishing effort by segment. The information in this table is the information provided by the Member States in their national reports. Where fisheries are identified within segments (the shaded rows labelled F1, F2 etc.), the objectives for the segment are expressed in terms of fishing effort in the MAGP IV Decision, so activity limitations contribute to the achievement of the objectives

Finally, under point d), "cumulative fishing effort", the table shows the cumulative intermediate fishing effort objectives for each of the segments and fisheries in which the objectives are expressed in terms of fishing effort. The charts following this table, compare the cumulative fishing effort declared by the Member States (white bars) with the cumulative intermediate effort objectives under the MAGP IV (shaded bars).

Belgium

In the discussions for the preparation of the MAGP IV, Belgium presented economic arguments for maintaining the objectives of its fleet at the level set by the transitional multi-annual guidance programme of 1992. The Commission accepted that these objectives represented the minimum viable capacity of the Belgian fleet. The objectives of the MAGP IV are therefore to stabilise capacity at that level.

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

No fishing effort data were provided.

Germany

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

Bold type indicates that the objectives have not been met. It should be noted that the tonnage objectives have not been revised to take into account the effects of remeasurement in units of GT, so the comparisons between the situation and the objectives are uncertain.

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

Germany operates fishing effort regimes in two segments of the fleet, the beam trawlers operating in the North Sea (4C4) and the pelagic trawlers (4C6). Germany manages the fishing effort in these two segments by allocating days at sea to individual vessels in the case of beam trawlers and by limiting the aggregate effort of the pelagic trawlers. However the services of the Commission have queried certain details concerning the calculation of the number of days spent at sea, in particular regarding the apparent exclusion of time spent fishing species that are not listed in Annex I of Council Decision 97/413/EC.

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

d) Cumulative fishing effort

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

4C4 Beam trawlers

>TABLE POSITION>

4C6 Pelagic trawlers

>TABLE POSITION>

Denmark

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

Overall fishing effort data were provided, but not broken down by fleet segment.

Spain

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

France

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

Bold type indicates that the objectives have not been met. It should be noted that the tonnage objectives have not been revised to take into account the effects of remeasurement in units of GT, so the comparisons between the situation and the objectives are uncertain.

The overcapacity in terms of tonnage reflected by the fleet register data for the segments 4F2 (Trawlers 0-30 m), 4F9 (Seiners, Mediterranean) and 4FB (Seiners International waters) is likely to disappear after the objectives are adjusted to take into account the effect of remeasurement.

For several segments, there are significant differences in terms of tonnage between the situation according to the Fleet Register data and the situation declared by France in the annual report; these may be due to the fact that fleet register GT* tonnage total being, as explained above, a mixture of GT and GRT values.

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

France has opted to control fishing effort in four segments of the fleet, but the services of the Commission have raised certain reservations concerning the efficacy of certain provisions of the fishing effort management regimes that have been introduced, notably the weekend prohibition of fishing in segment 4F8.

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

d) Cumulative fishing effort objectives

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

4F3 Trawlers > 30 metres

>TABLE POSITION>

4F6 Pelagic trawlers > 50 metres

>TABLE POSITION>

4F8 Mediterranean trawlers

>TABLE POSITION>

4F9 Mediterranean seiners: Fishery F1: Tuna

>TABLE POSITION>

4F9 Mediterranean seiners: Fishery F2: Small pelagics

>TABLE POSITION>

Greece

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

Bold type indicates that the objectives have not been met. It should be noted that the tonnage objectives have not been revised to take into account the effects of remeasurement in units of GT, so the comparisons between the situation and the objectives are uncertain.

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

Ireland

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

Bold type indicates that the objectives have not been met. It should be noted that the tonnage objectives have not been revised to take into account the effects of remeasurement in units of GT, so the comparisons between the situation and the objectives are uncertain.

Note: The objectives for segment 4G1 were increased at the start of the MAGP IV in order to take into account the capacity of previously unregistered vessels. The registration of these vessels has not yet been completed, with approximately 400 of a total of about 1000 applications as yet unprocessed. The capacity of this segment is therefore underestimated in the table. The situation declared by the Irish authorities for the Pelagic segment (4G2) at the end of 2000 is of 22804 GT and 41520 kW.

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

d) Cumulative fishing effort objectives

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days 4G2 Pelagic

>TABLE POSITION>

4G3 Beam trawl

>TABLE POSITION>

Italy

In the MAGP IV Decision for Italy, a footnote to the table of objectives stated that the figures would be revised in the light of the conclusions of a working group set up between the Commission and the Italian authorities to review the data on the Italian fleet, which were considered at the time of adoption to be unreliable.

Based on the results of the working group, the Italian MAGP was amended by Decision 2000/279/EC [6] of 30 March 2000. However it should be noted that although the revised figures are considered to be a much more accurate representation of the Italian fleet, further revisions are envisaged.

[6] OJ L 90, 12.4.2000, p. 12.

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

Bold type indicates that the objectives have not been met. It should be noted that the tonnage objectives have not been revised to take into account the effects of remeasurement in units of GT, so the comparisons between the situation and the objectives are uncertain.

In the annual report, Italy declares to be within their global objectives for tonnage although outside the global power objective. In the table above there are very large discrepancies for certain segments between the data in the fleet register and those supplied by Italy in the annual report. These may arise because the allocation of vessels to their correct segments in the Community fleet register is not yet complete, since the number of vessels declared by Italy and that reflected by the fleet register differs only by 13.

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

Netherlands

a) Situation of the fleet

At the time of writing, the Dutch authorities had not submitted the annual report on the implementation of MAGP IV, nor had they updated the information in the Fleet Register, according the new segmentation of their fleet. Therefore, the information provided in the table below does not accurately reflect the situation of the Dutch fleet by segment. In particular, the table shows that no vessels have yet been allocated to the new segments 4J6 and 4J7.

>TABLE POSITION>

Bold type indicates that the objectives have not been met. It should be noted that the tonnage objectives have not been revised to take into account the effects of remeasurement in units of GT, so the comparisons between the situation and the objectives are uncertain.

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

d) Cumulative fishing effort objectives

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

4J2 Pelagic Trawlers

>TABLE POSITION>

4J3 Cutters > 221 kW

>TABLE POSITION>

4J4 Eurocutters < 221 kW

>TABLE POSITION>

Portugal

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

United Kingdom

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

Bold type indicates that the objectives have not been met. It should be noted that the tonnage objectives have not been revised to take into account the effects of remeasurement in units of GT, so the comparisons between the situation and the objectives are uncertain.

The segment 4N5 (Lines and nets) is likely to be within the tonnage objective when this is adjusted to take into account the effect of remeasurement. For the segments 4N6 (Shellfish fixed) and 4N2 (Pelagic trawl and purse seines) there are significant differences between the situation declared by the United Kingdom in the annual report and that reflected by the Fleet Register. The vessels in the Fleet Register not allocated to any MAGP IV segment may in part explain these differences. However, the majority of these 917 unclassified vessels are, according to the UK authorities, out of the fleet, since the total number of active vessels declared in the annual report is much lower than the number reflected by the Fleet Register. That, together with the fact that the UK authorities have taken into account the effect of remeasurement, may explain that the figures for the global capacity are, according to their annual report, within the objectives.

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

d) Cumulative fishing effort objectives

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

4N2 Pelagic: Fishery F1. North Sea herring

>TABLE POSITION>

4N2 Pelagic: Fishery F2. Western pelagic

>TABLE POSITION>

4N2 Pelagic: Fishery F3. Atlanto Scandian herring

>TABLE POSITION>

NB: A footnote to the table of objectives in the MAGP Decision states that the objectives for this fishery are subject to review in the light of the development of the fishery.

4N2 Pelagic: Fishery F4. Blue whiting

>TABLE POSITION>

NB: A footnote to the table of objectives in the MAGP Decision states that the objectives for this fishery are subject to review in the light of the development of the fishery.

4N3 Beam trawl: Fishery F1 Flatfish IV

>TABLE POSITION>

4N3 Beam trawl: Fishery F2 Flatfish VII, VI

>TABLE POSITION>

4N4 Demersal trawl, seines, Nephrops

>TABLE POSITION>

4N8 Distant water

>TABLE POSITION>

Sweden

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

Bold type indicates that the objectives have not been met. It should be noted that the tonnage objectives have not been revised to take into account the effects of remeasurement in units of GT, so the comparisons between the situation and the objectives are uncertain.

The situation for segment 4M3 (Trawlers and purse seiners) will probably be within the tonnage objectives after these are adjusted for remeasurement.

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

d) Cumulative fishing effort objectives

>TABLE POSITION>

units in '000 GT days and '000 kW days

4M4 Bottom Trawlers

>TABLE POSITION>

Finland

a) Situation of the fleet

>TABLE POSITION>

b) Fleet evolution

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

c) Fishing effort

No fishing effort data were provided.

Conclusions

During the first four years of the MAGP IV, the Community fleet was reduced by 49,983 GT and 459,866 kW, which represent reductions in fleet capacity of approximately 2.5% and 5.9% respectively. The decrease in tonnage is likely to be an underestimate, since no account has been taken of the progressive remeasurement of the fleet in units of GT. This also partly explains why, in last year's report on the results of the MAGP IV at the end of 1999, the decrease in tonnage was estimated to be somewhat greater, at 4%. At 1 January 2001 the Community fleet was already approximately 17% below the final MAGP IV objectives in terms of tonnage and 12% below the final MAGP IV objectives in terms of power.

The reasons for this have been discussed at length in the report from the Commission to the Council for the preparation of a mid term review of the MAGP IV [7]. The reductions called for by the MAGP IV were so modest (about 3% in capacity over the five year period) that the Community fleet as a whole was already within the final objectives before the start of the programme. A reduction of 3% in capacity over five years would certainly not be sufficient to counter increases in fishing effort due to technological progress over the same period, and must be contrasted with the scientific advice that there is currently about 40% over-capacity in the European fleet.

[7] COM(2000) 272 final, 10.5.2000.

Despite the modesty of the reductions required under the MAGP, many Member States have failed to reach their targets in some segments of the fleet. Some Member States have even substantially increased the capacity of certain segments that were already outside their MAGP objectives. That such results have been presented without further comment in the present, purely factual report, does not imply inaction on the part of the Commission. The Commission is currently considering action against several Member States for failure to take sufficient measures to meet their obligations under MAGP.

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