The EESC considers the establishment of a multi-annual plan to be an appropriate measure for managing the Western Waters, although the specificities of fisheries in the North Western and South Western Waters should also be taken into account.
The EESC believes that this regulation should be aligned with the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the importance of the socio-economic component should therefore be mentioned when allocating fishing opportunities.
The EESC calls for the lists of species affected by this regulation to be updated, through regionalisation, as some of these species hamper the management of mixed fisheries because of their low catch rates, because they are considered to be by-catches or because of the lack of quotas in some Member States. This is particularly important given the imminent entry into force of the landing obligation and the emergence of "choke species", which could in some cases block fishing activities.
The EESC stresses the need to increase scientific research efforts through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), with a view to gaining more knowledge about the real status of fish stocks and thus avoiding, as far as possible, applying the precautionary approach, while also ensuring the sustainable use of these resources over time.