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Spain's Action Plan to improve fisheries control

(03/08/2012) The European Commission adopted an action plan to improve the catch registration system in Spain. It has been designed jointly by the Commission and the Spanish authorities, following two years of system auditing. The agreed measures will help reinforce the fisheries controls by Spain.

"A robust control system is a prerequisite for sustainability, and improving controls throughout the EU is a high priority for me. I congratulate Spain on the effort they took and hope that other Member States will follow suit. We are already working with them to that end.", Commissioner Maria Damanaki, in charge of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Catch data are reported by fishermen so that the control authorities can monitor fishing quotas and prevent overfishing. The Action Plan aims to ensure that the data available to controllers is complete, reliable and timely. It consolidates the measures that the Spanish Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAGRAMA) started to implement this year, for example setting up of the Fisheries Information System (Sistema de Información Pesquera) and of a Technical Control Group. New procedures and reinforced logistical support are foreseen to make controls more efficient and cost-effective. The Spanish authorities will also work on creating a culture of compliance among fishermen.

The Plan will benefit the fishermen. Thanks to rigorous enforcement of quotas, the stocks will be more abundant and all fishermen will enjoy a fair and equal access to fisheries resources.

The Control Regulation provides for instruments to assist Member States in implementing the Common Fisheries Policy, such as system auditing and action plans. Spain is one of the first Member States to benefit from such an action plan.