European Commission on alert to counter illegal fishing
Media reports about a number of vessels allegedly fishing illegally for bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean. The European Commission has swiftly triggered the relevant procedures, providing national authorities with the information received from WWF and requesting them to collect information on the identification, flag and activities of the vessels, as well as their owners.
The Commission has also recommended, where possible, to carry out inspections of the vessels and collecting all necessary information on-board (catch data, landings, transhipments, VMS positions, fishing gears, etc). In parallel, the European Fisheries Control Agency alerted the Authorities in Las Palmas but the Chinese vessels did not stop there in the end. The Chinese vessels have now left EU waters.
Commissioner Maria Damanaki commented "I do thank national authorities and NGOs that cooperate with the Commission in order to fight illegal fishing activities, for the valuable input. We systematically check all the information available and in cooperation with the enforcement authorities and the European Fisheries Control Agency will immediately react and take action against IUU activities: we are on alert".