Ecologist protesters have been adding their voices to the start of the European Union’s annual fisheries negotiations. The talks are expected to run through this Wednesday and maybe overnight, into Thursday morning. In its 2006 plan for fish quotas, the European Commission has recommended modest catch reductions — far less drastic than in previous years — along with a few seasonal closures of waters to protect species where stocks are worryingly depleted.
The current British fisheries council president’s proposals are fairly close to the Commission’s, forming a basis for discussion.
The Commission wants to cut the 2006 cod quota by up to 15 percent, and also cut vessels’ time at sea.
Spain and France are keen to raise their quotas for anchovy in the Bay of Biscay;
The species is so depleted there that the
Commission wants to close waters until at least June to give numbers a chance to recover.