Agreed record with Norway on implementation of the IUU Regulation
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a worldwide phenomenon with disastrous environmental and socio-economic impacts, threatening the sustainable exploitation of living aquatic resources and marine biodiversity. It also has serious overall consequences for coastal countries, which lose out on their marine resources to illegal operators.
The European Commission has been tremendously active in the fight against IUU fishing for over a decade. The main thrust of its policy comes from its 2002 Action Plan, directly inspired by the FAO's International Plan of Action adopted in 2001 to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing. However, the efforts achieved at international level have not succeeded in reducing the scope of IUU fishing and as a result, the European Community adopted a Regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing ("the IUU Regulation") on 29 September 2008, which will enter into force on 1 January 20101.
The IUU Regulation is a transparent and non-discriminatory instrument applying to all vessels engaged in the commercial exploitation of fishery resources in all maritime waters, and seeks to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing practices in as much they are linked to the European Community either through trade to and from its territory or the involvement of EC nationals in IUU fishing activities conducted under any flag. It also provides a comprehensive legal basis for operational cooperation between third countries and the European Community to combat IUU fishing more efficiently. One of the core elements of the IUU Regulation is the introduction of a catch certification scheme, which will ensure that all maritime fisheries products which are to be traded with the European Community are obtained in compliance with existing conservation and management measures.
Within the framework of this Regulation a Community Delegation headed by the Director- General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mr Fokion Fotiadis, and a Norwegian Delegation headed by Secretary General Mr Jorn Krog met in Brussels on 3 September 2009 to sign an agreed record of conclusions of fisheries consultations between the European Community and Norway on the implementation of the IUU Regulation. The heads of Delegations agreed to recommend to their respective authorities specific administrative arrangements concerning the catch certification scheme and administrative cooperation in the fight against IUU fishing.