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News :: European Commission takes first steps towards CFP implementation by preparing for landing obligation

European Commission takes first steps towards CFP implementation by preparing for landing obligation

(18/12/2013) The recent agreement of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) cements the obligation to land all catches into EU law.

This "landing obligation" put in place to end the wasteful practice of discarding marketable fish back into the sea will be introduced progressively starting from 1 January 2015. The European Commission has today begun the process of implementing the landing obligation through the adoption of a proposal that amends a number of regulations dealing with technical conservation measures

These are rules governing how and where fishermen may fish including details on types of fishing gear used, closed areas and other measures to protect the marine environment. These changes are necessary to remove any legal and practical impediments to implementation of the landing obligation. Amendments are specifically needed to the rules governing the permitted composition of catches and to replace current minimum landing sizes with minimum conservation references sizes.

This proposal aligns the current control regulation with the landing obligation by amending provisions governing reporting and storage of catches, as well as establishing rules for the use of remote electronic monitoring systems (REM) and the carrying of observers on board to monitor compliance. It is also intended to make violation of the landing obligation by operators a serious infringement.

This is a first step towards implementation. As a second step, the Commission intends to present a proposal for a new regionalised framework for technical conservation measures, which will facilitate the full implementation of the landing obligation over time. It will also incorporate the new, regionalised approach to the implementation of multiannual plans, which is another central element of the new CFP.