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INSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable Fish

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In its annual report of 2014 activities, the European Fisheries Control Agency outlines how it assisted Member States and the European Commission to prepare for the monitoring of the landing obligation. This included rolling out new data network systems, adding modules for training fisheries inspectors and finding synergies with Member states for joint monitoring efforts.
The European Commission has welcomed the great strides made by Latvia in addressing the shortcomings of its national fisheries control system.
The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) has adopted its Multiannual Work Programme for 2015-2019 and the Annual Work Programme at the meeting of the Administrative Board held on 17 of October 2014.

Scope of the control system

EU system for fisheries controls
Verifying that records of fishing activities are correct is an important aspect of control. © Lionel Flageul

Fisheries control is not just about checking the activities of fishers at sea, which is expensive and cannot alone ensure that the rules are respected. Checks are carried out at every point in the chain from the boat to the retailer.
Fishing vessels are not even allowed to leave port without a valid licence to fish.
Though checks at sea are still done, the focus is now on checks:

  • in ports where fish is landed or transhipped
  • during transport
  • in factories that process fish
  • at markets where fish is sold.

At every point along the production chain, for every consignment of fish, information must be provided that proves that the fish was caught legally.
Standards for all these different kinds of inspection are set at EU level.
The control system applies to all fishing activities in EU waters, and to all fishing carried out by EU fishing vessels and EU nationals, wherever they may fish. It also applies to recreational fishing on sensitive fish stocks and aquaculture in so far as they are covered by rules at EU level – for instance, to fishing for eel or to certain recreational fisheries for bluefin tuna.