Fishing quotas and temporary closure of fishing areas
Every year, the European Union (EU) determines how much of a certain fish species may be harvested. This is divided over the EU member states in the form of national fishing quotas.
Depletion of fishing quotas
EU member states are not allowed to exceed their quota for a given fish species. Where this does occur, areas are closed to fishing for the species concerned to prevent population collapse.
Temporary closure of fishing areas (real-time closures)
The EU may temporarily close fishing areas in the North Sea and the Skagerrak to prevent excessive by-catch. Closures are mainly imposed when large quantities of young fish are caught in a certain area.
Temporary closures are also imposed under the Cod Recovery Plan, agreed by the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the fishing industry. Every month, 9 different areas in the North Sea with high landings of cod are closed.
Announcements about real-time closures include longitude and latitude coordinates.