Fisheries

The EU system for fisheries controls

The EU system for fisheries controls

The EU system for fisheries controls

To ensure that the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy are followed in practice, the policy also includes a control system with the necessary tools to enforce them.

Inspections at sea are costly and resource intensive. The European Union contributes to the cost of enforcement. © CFCA

To enforce common-fisheries-policy rules, there is a control system, designed to:

  • ensure that only the allowed quantities of fish are caught
  • collect the necessary data for managing fishing opportunities
  • clarify the roles of EU countries and the Commission
  • ensure the rules are applied to all fishers in the same way, with harmonised sanctions across the EU
  • ensure that fisheries products can be traced back and checked throughout the supply chain, from net to plate.

The system is laid down in the Control Regulation which entered into force on 1 January 2010 and which thoroughly modernised the EU's approach to fisheries control. In particular, it brought the system into line with the strong measures which the EU had adopted in 2008 to combat illegal fishing.

Revision of the fisheries control system

This initiative aims at amending the EU system for fisheries controls to simplify it, to make it more effective and efficient and to ensure full compliance with the reformed Common Fisheries Policy and equitable treatment of operators. The main objectives are strengthening provisions on enforcement, ensuring better quality and sharing of fisheries data and information, reducing administrative burden, and enhancing synergies with other policies.

The Inception Impact Assessment presents the policy options currently under discussion. You can give your feedback during the period 3 October 2017 - 31 October 2017.

REFIT evaluation of the fisheries control system

On 24 April 2017 the European Commission has published its evaluation of the fisheries control regulation.

The report shows that member states have generally been compliant with the main obligations set by this regulation, which remains a key pillar for delivering on the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy. The Commission however concluded that its full implementation lacks behind in many member states, creating sometimes uneven situations within the EU.

Although the regulation simplified and rationalised the previous system, the evaluation highlighted a number of shortcomings in the current text, which hinder its full effectiveness.

Since its adoption in 2009, the fisheries control regulation tackled the main issues identified in the previous system and contributed to step up the overall level of compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy. It also helped improving communication and data sharing among the various stakeholders, ensuring better quality and quantity of fisheries data, as well as fostering the level playing field among operators.

However, although much was achieved, full compliance with the legal framework is yet to be ensured. Shortcomings in the implementation mainly concern sanctions and point system, follow up of infringements, data exchange and data sharing, traceability, but also monitoring and catch reporting tools for vessels below 12 metres. In addition, the lack of clarity in some provisions and the numerous exemptions are considered to hamper the effectiveness of the entire fisheries control system.

The evaluation revealed that the Fisheries Control Regulation is not entirely coherent with the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, which introduced new objectives and legal obligations, as for instance the landing obligation. Synergies with other policies, such as environment, would also need to be reinforced.

Legislation and official documents

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2015/1962 of 28 October 2015 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 404/2011 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy.

Implementation and evaluation of Regulation (EC) 1224/2009 establishing a Union control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy as required under Article 118 and REFIT Evaluation of the impact of the fisheries regulation

C(2012) 1433:  Guidelines for the deduction of quotas under Article 105(1), (2) and (5) of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 

Corrigendum to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 404/2011 of 8 April 2011 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 404/2011 
of 8 April 2011 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy

Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy, amending Regulations (EC) No 847/96, (EC) No 2371/2002, (EC) No 811/2004, (EC) No 768/2005, (EC) No 2115/2005, (EC) No 2166/2005, (EC) No 388/2006, (EC) No 509/2007, (EC) No 676/2007, (EC) No 1098/2007, (EC) No 1300/2008, (EC) No 1342/2008 and repealing Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1627/94 and (EC) No 1966/2006

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1010/2009 of 22 October 2009 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing