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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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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.
The European Commission has proposed to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka. After four years of intense dialogue with Sri Lanka the country could not demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In contrast, the Commission confirmed that Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu, have successfully taken measures to tackle illegal fishing.

Illegal fishing (IUU)

The EU rules to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
Vessel fishing illegally for Patagonian toothfish in waters south of Australia, being inspected by the Australian navy.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) depletes fish stocks, destroys marine habitats, distorts competition, puts honest fishers at an unfair disadvantage, and weakens costal communities, particularly in developing countries.
The EU is working to close the loopholes that allow illegal operators to profit from their activities:

  • The EU Regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) entered into force on 1 January 2010. The Commission is working actively with all stakeholders to ensure coherent application of the IUU Regulation.
  • Only marine fisheries products validated as legal by the competent flag state or exporting state can be imported to or exported from the EU.
  • An IUU vessel list is issued regularly, based on IUU vessels identified by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.
  • The IUU Regulation also offers the possibility to blacklist states that turn a blind eye to illegal fishing activities.
  • EU operators who fish illegally anywhere in the world, under any flag, face substantial penalties proportionate to the economic value of their catch, which deprive them of any profit.

Legal basis

Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU Regulation)

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1010/2009 of 22 October 2009 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008

Commission Statements pdf - 48 KB [48 KB] of 18 September 2008

Secondary legislation, guidance and other information

Secondary legislation, guidance and other information