Illegal fishing: blocking access to the EU market
Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is thriving throughout the world. According to estimates, this global commerce is worth 3 to 10 billion euros per year. As a comparison, legal landings by the EU fleet reached 6.8 billion euros in 2004.
The scope of marine poaching and its environmental, economic and social impact make it an international priority. Illegal fishing depletes world stocks and compromises the protective measures implemented to ensure their sustainability. Furthermore, by targeting the national waters of developing countries which do not have the means to patrol them effectively, illegal fishing robs these underprivileged populations of an essential food source.
In order to fight this plague, the European Commission has proposed to deprive illegal fishing of its commercial outlets in the European Union, which is the leading world importer of fishing products. This strategy would involve, in particular, widespread State-based port control, which forces each State to ensure that the fishing products they import are legal. In other words, all fish, molluscs and crustaceans (including processed products) entering the European Union will have to be certified by the flag State of the vessel which caught them. Vessels whose flag State does not certify the products on board will not be able to access European ports.
- EUTube video: Illegal Fishing: blocking access to the EU market
- Video: Illegal Fishing: blocking access to the EU market (short version)
Interviews: •Dr. David Agnew, member of the Marine Resources Assessment Group (MRAG); •Jean-François Pulvenis de Séligny, Fishing Policy and Planning Director, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO); •Manuel Liria-Franch, President of the Spanish Federation of Fishing Organisations (FEOPE); •Joe Borg, Commissioner responsible for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs; • Domenico Vizzari, Control room operator, Algemene Inspectiedienst (the Netherlands); •Harry A. Vonk, Fisheries political adviser, Algemene Inspectiedienst (the Netherlands); •José Navarro, Assistant Director General, Spanish Fisheries Inspectorate.
- Video: Illegal Fishing: blocking access to the EU market (long version)