The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has published its latest report on the state and prospects of certain fish stocks. Scientists recommend the closure of fishing for cod in certain areas, and for targets to be set closer to the levels advised by scientists. The publication came just one day after the Commission had itself adopted its annual policy statement on fishing opportunities for 2008. The Commission also shows concern on overfishing, emphasising that many stocks remain outside safe biological limits, and calls in it statement for more serious efforts to put European fisheries back on a sustainable footing. The news from the ICES is not good. Stocks of herring in the Celtic Sea and north-west of Ireland, Baltic cod stocks, and herring and whiting in the North Sea and Norway pout, are worryingly low. The ICES once again advises the close of fishing for cod in the North Sea and in the Kattegat, and calls for the establishment of fishing levels closer to scientific advice. The ICES report will now be studied by the Commission's own Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries (STECF), which will provide the Commission with detailed advice. In its communication, published on 7 June, the Commission points out that the Fisheries Council of Ministers has consistently set total allowable catches (TACs) substantially above the levels recommended by scientists. The impact has been magnified further by the regular overshooting of TACs. The Commission is calling for a serious and concerted effort to make European fisheries sustainable, and is therefore inviting stakeholders and Member States to examine the communication and provide feedback. The annual policy statement was introduced for the first time in 2006 as a means of facilitating an in-depth debate with stakeholders and the EU Member States on TACs and quotas.