Published Thursday, 07 August 2003

CFP Briefing No 14 

The bycatch of small cetaceans – dolphins and porpoises – continues to be a problem in a number of EU fisheries. There is particular concern over the bycatch of the critically endangered harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in the Baltic and North Sea. The Commission requested the ICES Advisory Committee on Ecosystems to assess the extent of cetacean bycatch and to advise on mitigation measures. On the basis of this assessment and advice from the subgroup on fishery and environment (SGFEN) of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), the Commission concluded that existing measures are insufficient or insufficiently coordinated to address the high cetacean bycatch in certain EU fisheries. On 24 June the Commission subsequently proposed a Council regulation designed to reduce the bycatch of dolphins and porpoises in selected EU fisheries (COM(2003)451).