BRUSELAS, 16 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has rejected this Thursday the appeal presented by Spain against the fishing limits for European hake, red mullet and red shrimp in the areas of the Alboran Sea, the Balearic Islands, northern Spain and the Gulf of León.
Spain requested the annulment of the Council regulation establishing the fishing opportunities applicable to certain stocks and groups of fish stocks in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, claiming that the measures were "disproportionate" and "manifestly inadequate" to achieve the objective of the regulation by not respecting the requirement of scientific opinion and by not being necessary as there are other alternative measures such as closed seasons, minimum sizes and increased selectivity of trawl gear.
In its ruling handed down this Thursday, the CJEU has rejected this appeal and considers that the Council sufficiently explained in legal terms the reasons why it established the maximum admissible fishing effort for European hake and red mullet longliners and the maximum catch limits for shrimp. Mediterranean red in the subzones of the Alboran Sea, the Balearic Islands, northern Spain and the Gulf of Lion.
The ruling declares that the Council enjoys a power of appreciation in this regard and that it did not manifestly exceed its limits when adopting these and does not consider that this is manifestly inadequate in relation to the objective pursued, so that it does not violate the principle of proportionality, as Spain held.
The European Justice has pointed out that the regulation does not exclude any particular type of conservation measure, but rather seems to leave to the Council the choice, where appropriate, of the complementary measures of the fishing effort management regime most appropriate to achieve the objective relating to fishing mortality in relation to maximum sustainable yield by 1 January 2025.
Furthermore, it is clear from the scientific advice on which the Council relied that the fixing of total allowable catches (TACs) or catch limits was a measure that could be adopted as a complement to the fishing effort management regime, on the basis of the regulations of the multi-annual plan.
Spain also argued, among other things, that this second measure overlapped with the already existing measure relating to the fishing effort management regime for trawlers, that the establishment of a maximum catch limit for that species in those areas was redundant and that There are other measures with the same objective, such as fishing bans.
The Spanish resource added that the establishment of maximum catches is "the most harmful" of the conservation measures for the economic behavior of the fishing fleet and that it requires a more in-depth scientific analysis than the one carried out, which is why it proposed alternative management measures, in their opinion less harmful.
However, the CJEU considers that the Council acted correctly after having weighed the effectiveness of the measures against their economic repercussions on fishing activities, and considering that they were the most appropriate to achieve, as a complement to the fishing effort regime, the objective of mortality, set at a level corresponding to the maximum sustainable yield as of January 1, 2025.