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Document 32021R1160

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/1160 of 12 May 2021 amending Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the sprat box and the plaice box in the North Sea

C/2021/3249

OJ L 250, 15.7.2021, p. 4–6 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

Legal status of the document In force

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg_del/2021/1160/oj

15.7.2021   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 250/4


COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) 2021/1160

of 12 May 2021

amending Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the sprat box and the plaice box in the North Sea

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on the conservation of fisheries resources and the protection of marine ecosystems through technical measures, amending Council Regulations (EC) No 1967/2006, (EC) No 1224/2009 and Regulations (EU) No 1380/2013, (EU) 2016/1139, (EU) 2018/973, (EU) 2019/472 and (EU) 2019/1022 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 894/97, (EC) No 850/98, (EC) No 2549/2000, (EC) No 254/2002, (EC) No 812/2004 and (EC) No 2187/2005 (1), and in particular Article 15(2) thereof,

Whereas:

(1)

Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 provides for the establishment of technical measures for the North Sea.

(2)

Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden (Scheveningen Group) have a direct fisheries management interest in the North Sea. On 15 and 19 October 2020, those Member States submitted two joint recommendations in accordance with Article 18(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2) and Article 15(3) of Regulation (EU) 2019/1241, proposing the adoption of certain modifications of the current provisions on the plaice box and the sprat box in the North Sea set out in Annex V to Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 by means of a delegated act of the Commission. They submitted a revised version of the joint recommendation on the sprat box on 2 February 2021. Both joint recommendations were sent by those Member States to the relevant advisory councils for consultation.

(3)

Given that both joint recommendations propose changes to Annex V to Regulation (EU) 2019/1241, this delegated Regulation provides for the measures recommended by the Member States as regards both the sprat box and the plaice box.

(4)

The Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) assessed the evidence provided by the Member States in support of the provisions included in both joint recommendations (3). The proposed measures were evaluated in accordance with the principles established in Article 15(4) of Regulation (EU) 2019/1241.

(5)

The joint recommendation submitted by the Member States on the plaice box suggested the introduction of a specific exemption for vessels whose engine power exceeds 221 kW using Danish seines, provided that such vessels comply with the mesh sizes set out in point 1.1 of Part B of Annex V to Regulation (EU) 2019/1241. The STECF analysed the evidence presented by the Member States and concluded that, considering the limited number of vessels concerned and the limited impact that Danish anchor seine has on the bottom, the introduction of the specific exemption for Danish seine is not expected to have any significant effect on the level of protection inside the area. The proposed measure should therefore be included in this Regulation.

(6)

The joint recommendation on the plaice box further suggested replacing, in point 2.2(c) of part C of Annex V to Regulation (EU) 2019/1241, the term ‘bottom trawls’ by the term ‘bottom otter trawls’. The STECF analysed the evidence presented by the Member States and concluded that the proposed change is likely to remove any ambiguity in the Regulation and provide levels of protection that are at least equivalent, and likely higher, to what is currently prescribed in Regulation (EU) 2019/1241. The proposed measure should therefore be included in this Regulation.

(7)

The joint recommendation on the plaice box also suggested a maximum of 24m for the vessel length of beam trawlers to be included, after this Regulation applies, in the list of vessels set out in point 2.4 of part C of Annex V to Regulation (EU) 2019/1241. The STECF analysed the evidence presented by the Member States and concluded that this restriction will ensure levels of protection that are at least equivalent to what is currently prescribed in Regulation (EU) 2019/1241. The proposed measure should therefore be included in this Regulation.

(8)

The joint recommendation submitted by the Member States on the sprat box suggested to continue for a period of three years the practice of lifting the sprat box for vessels with certain gears from 1 July to 31 October, as provided for by Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1395/2014 (4) for the period until 31 December 2020. The STECF analysed the evidence presented by the Member States on the sprat box and concluded that there is no clear indication that the lifting of the sprat box since 2017 has caused any damage on the herring stock. The STECF further concluded that it is unlikely that lifting the sprat box would lead to lower levels of protection than what is currently in place. STECF however observed that more years of fishery monitoring are needed in order to prove that equivalent levels of protection will be maintained. The STECF therefore suggested that the impact of the lifting is re-evaluated after three years of monitoring. The Member States committed to monitoring the impact of the lifting of the sprat box during this period by collecting the data set out in their joint recommendation with regard to herring bycatch in the fishery for sprat. This data will be submitted for evaluation by the STECF. The proposed measure should therefore be included in this Regulation.

(9)

Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 should therefore be amended accordingly.

(10)

As the measures provided for in this Regulation have a direct impact on the planning of the fishing season of Union vessels and on related economic activities, this Regulation should enter into force immediately after its publication,

HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 is amended in accordance with the Annex to this Regulation.

Article 2

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Brussels, 12 May 2021.

For the Commission

The President

Ursula VON DER LEYEN


(1)   OJ L 198, 25.7.2019, p. 105.

(2)  Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy, amending Council Regulations (EC) No 1954/2003 and (EC) No 1224/2009 and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2371/2002 and (EC) No 639/2004 and Council Decision 2004/585/EC (OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 22).

(3)  https://stecf.jrc.ec.europa.eu/documents/43805/2786172/STECF+PLEN+20-03.pdf, pages 93-105 (sprat box) and pages 106-113 (plaice box).

(4)  Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1395/2014 of 20 October 2014 establishing a discard plan for certain small pelagic fisheries and fisheries for industrial purposes in the North Sea (OJ L 370, 30.12.2014, p. 35).


ANNEX

Part C of Annex V to Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 is amended as follows:

(1)

point 2.2 is amended as follows:

(a)

point (c) is replaced by the following:

‘(c)

vessels whose engine power exceeds 221 kW shall be permitted to use bottom otter trawls, and paired vessels whose combined engine power exceeds 221 kW shall be permitted to use bottom pair trawls provided that such vessels do not engage in directed fishing for plaice and sole and comply with the relevant mesh size rules contained in Part B of this Annex;’;

(b)

the following point (d) is added:

‘(d)

vessels whose engine power exceeds 221 kW shall be permitted to use Danish seines provided that such vessels comply with the mesh size provided for in point 1.1 of Part B of this Annex.’;

(2)

point 2.4 is replaced by the following:

‘2.4.

Vessels permitted to fish in the area referred to in point 2.1 shall be included in a list to be provided to the Commission by each Member State. The total engine power of the vessels referred to in point 2.2(a) within the list shall not exceed the total engine power in evidence for each Member State at 1 January 1998. The permitted fishing vessels shall hold a fishing authorisation in accordance with Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009. From 1 July 2021, only beam trawlers with a length overall of maximum 24 meters may be added to that list.’;

(3)

the following paragraphs are added to point 4:

‘By way of derogation from the third indent of the first paragraph, that indent shall not apply until 31 December 2023 to fishing with the following gear:

(a)

towed gear with a mesh size of less than 32 mm;

(b)

purse seines; or

(c)

gillnets, entangling nets, trammel nets and driftnets with a mesh size of less than 30 mm.

Member States having a direct management interest shall submit by 15 December 2023 to the Commission monitoring data supporting the derogation.’.


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