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The EU's Fisheries Ministers in Agriculture and Fisheries Council met on the 17-18/12/2018 and reached agreement on 2019 catch limits for the 89 main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic and North Sea. Quotas will increase in line with scientific advice, on stocks of northern hake, northern haddock, horse mackerel, seabass and some stocks of Norway lobster. However TACs were reduced for Herring in the Celtic Sea by 53%, Nephrops in the waters around Ireland by 32% and sole in the Eastern channel by 26% - all three in line with the MSY advice. An EU wide 3 months closure period was also announced (to be applied between August and February) for all fisheries of European eel at all life stages, including glass eel, applicable to all marine waters and to brackish waters. The number of fish stocks managed at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels will increase next year to 59 and the Commission claims that 99% of expected landings in 2019 in the EU waters of the Baltic, North Sea and the Atlantic, will be fished at sustainable levels.
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