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Document 32019D1570

Council Decision (EU) 2019/1570 of 16 September 2019 on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union within the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF)

ST/11386/2019/INIT

OJ L 242, 20.9.2019, p. 20–24 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

In force

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/dec/2019/1570/oj

20.9.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 242/20


COUNCIL DECISION (EU) 2019/1570

of 16 September 2019

on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union within the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 43, in conjunction with Article 218(9) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Whereas:

(1)

The Union is a member of the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF), a regional fishery committee of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), established under Article VI (2) of the FAO Constitution.

(2)

The Union is a member of the FAO.

(3)

The CECAF aims to promote the sustainable utilisation of the living marine resources in its area of competence. Pursuant to point (d) of the Terms of Reference of its revised statutes, the CECAF provides advice on conservation and management measures (recommendations). Because of its advisory status, the CECAF's recommandations are not binding on its members.

(4)

As stated in the Joint Communication by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission ‘International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans’, and the Council conclusions on that Joint Communication, the promotion of measures to support and enhance the effectiveness of the regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) and, where relevant, improve their governance and strengthen cooperation in key ocean areas in order to fill regional governance gaps, is central to the Union's action in those fora.

(5)

The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, to the Council, to the European Economic and Social Committee and to the Committee of the Regions ‘A European strategy for plastics in a circular economy’, refers to specific measures to reduce plastics and marine pollution as well as the loss or abandonment at sea of fishing gear.

(6)

It is appropriate to establish the position to be taken on the Union's behalf in the CECAF for the period 2019-2023, as the CECAF is called upon to adopt non-binding acts capable of decisively influencing the content of Union law. Most Council Decisions establishing the Union's position within RFMOs to which the Union is a member are due for revision before the 2024 annual meetings of those RFMOs. Therefore, to improve coherence among the Union's positions in all RFMOs and Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs) and to streamline the revision process, this Decision should be revised before the session of the CECAF in 2024.

(7)

In view of the evolving nature of fishery resources in the CECAF area and the consequent need for the position of the Union to take account of new developments, including new scientific and other relevant information presented before or during the sessions of the CECAF, procedures should be established, in line with the principle of sincere cooperation among the Union institutions enshrined in Article 13(2) of the Treaty on European Union, for the year-to-year specification of the Union's position for the period 2019-2023,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

The position to be taken on the Union's behalf in the sessions of the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF) is set out in Annex I.

Article 2

The year-to-year specification of the Union's position to be taken in the sessions of the CECAF shall be conducted in accordance with Annex II.

Article 3

The Union's position set out in Annex I shall be assessed and, where appropriate, revised by the Council upon a proposal from the Commission, before the session of the CECAF in 2024.

Article 4

This Decision shall enter into force on the day of its adoption.

Done at Brussels, 16 September 2019.

For the Council

The President

T. TUPPURAINEN


ANNEX I

The position to be taken on the Union's behalf in the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF)

1.   PRINCIPLES

In the framework of the CECAF, the Union shall:

(a)

act in accordance with the objectives and principles pursued by the Union within the common fisheries policy (CFP), notably through the precautionary approach and the aims related to the maximum sustainable yield as laid down in Article 2(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, to promote the implementation of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management, to avoid and reduce, as far as possible, unwanted catches, and gradually eliminate discards, and to minimise the impact of fishing activities on marine ecosystems and their habitats, as well as, through the promotion of economically viable and competitive Union fisheries, to provide a fair standard of living for those who depend on fishing activities and take account of the interests of consumers;

(b)

work towards an appropriate involvement of stakeholders in the preparation phase for CECAF measures adopted within the CECAF in accordance with its revised Statutes;

(c)

ensure that measures adopted within the CECAF are consistent with international law, and in particular with the provisions of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the 1995 UN Agreement relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, the 1993 Agreement to promote compliance with international conservation and management measures by fishing vessels on the high seas, and the 2009 Food and Agriculture Organisation Port State Measures Agreement;

(d)

promote positions consistent with the best practices of regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) and regional fisheries bodies (RFBs) in the same area, and ensure the promotion of coordination between RFMOs and relevant organisations such as subregional fisheries organisations and regional sea conventions (RSCs), and cooperation with global organisations, as applicable, within their mandates, where appropriate, including cooperation mechanisms amongst non-tuna RFMOs similar to the so-called Kobe process for tuna RFMOs;

(e)

seek consistency and synergy with the policy that the Union is pursuing as part of its bilateral fisheries relations with third countries, and ensure coherence with its other policies, notably in the field of external relations, employment, environment, trade, development, research and innovation;

(f)

ensure that the Union's international commitments are respected;

(g)

act in line with the Council Conclusions of 19 March 2012 on the Commission Communication on the external dimension of the CFP (1);

(h)

aim to create a level playing field for the Union fleet within the area under the competence of the CECAF, based on the same principles and standards as those applicable under Union law, and to promote the uniform implementation of those principles and standards;

(i)

act in line with the Council conclusions (2) on the Joint Communication by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission on International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of oceans (3), as well as and promote measures to support and enhance the effectiveness of the CECAF and, where relevant, improve its governance and performance, notably by supporting the reform of the CECAF to become a fully fledged RFMO, as a contribution to the sustainable management of oceans in all its dimensions.

2.   ORIENTATIONS

The Union shall, where appropriate, endeavour to support the adoption of the following actions by the CECAF:

(a)

measures for the conservation and management of living marine resources in the area under the competence of the CECAF based on the best scientific advice available;

(b)

measures on monitoring, control and surveillance activities in the area under the competence of the CECAF, including to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities;

(c)

measures to minimise the negative impact of fishing activities and aquaculture on marine biodiversity and marine ecosystems and their habitats, including measures to reduce marine pollution and prevent the discharge of plastics at sea and reduce the impact on marine biodiversity and ecosystems of plastics present at sea, protective measures for vulnerable marine ecosystems in the area under the competence of the CECAF in line with the FAO International Guidelines for the Management of Deep-sea Fisheries in the High Seas and measures to avoid and reduce as far as possible unwanted catches, including in particular vulnerable marine species, and to gradually eliminate discards;

(d)

measures to reduce the impact of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) in the ocean and to facilitate the identification and recovery of such gear;

(e)

common approaches with other RFBs and RFMOs, where appropriate, in particular those involved in fisheries management in the same area;

(f)

recommendations, where appropriate and to the extent permitted under the relevant constituent documents, encouraging the implementation of the Work in Fishing Convention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO);

(g)

additional technical measures based on advice from the subsidiary bodies and working groups of the CECAF.


(1)  7087/12 REV 1 ADD 1 COR 1.

(2)  7348/1/17 REV 1 of 24.3.2017.

(3)  JOIN(2016) 49 final of 10.11.2016.


ANNEX II

Year-to-year specification of the Union's position to be taken in sessions of the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic

Before each session of the CECAF, when that body is called upon to adopt decisions capable of decisively influencing the content of the legislation adopted by the Union legislature, the necessary steps shall be taken so that the position to be expressed on the Union's behalf takes account of the latest scientific and other relevant information transmitted to the Commission, in accordance with the principles and orientations set out in Annex I.

To this effect, and based on that information, the Commission shall transmit to the Council, in sufficient time before each session of the CECAF, a written document setting out the particulars of the proposed specification of the Union's position for discussion and endorsement of the details of the position to be expressed on the Union's behalf.

If in the course of a CECAF session it is impossible to reach an agreement, including on the spot, the matter shall be referred to the Council or its preparatory bodies, in order for the Union's position to take account of new elements.


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