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Proposal for a Council Regulation fixing for 2014 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks applicable in the Baltic Sea.

In accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 of 20 December 2002 on the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources under the Common Fisheries Policy, measures should be taken to ensure that living aquatic resources are exploited under sustainable economic, environmental and social conditions. One important tool in this respect is the annual fixing of fishing opportunities in the form of total allowable catches (TACs), quotas and fishing effort limits.

The objective of this proposal is to fix, for the commercially most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea, the fishing opportunities for Member States for 2014. With a view to simplifying and clarifying the annual TAC and quota decisions, fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea have been fixed by a separate Regulation since 2006.

The Communication from the Commission concerning a consultation on Fishing Opportunities for 2014 (COM(2013) 319 final) outlines the background to the proposal.

The scientific advice on stocks in the Baltic Sea for 2014 was delivered by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in May 2013 and by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) in June 2013.

The proposal contains two sections that are important for management of the Baltic fisheries in 2014 through fishing opportunities: one section fixing the TACs and quotas and a second limiting the fishing effort, by imposing limits on fishing vessels’ activity (number of days at sea).

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