Fisheries

Respect of fishing rules has improved in the past years, but more needs to be done to achieve full compliance, reveals a Commission evaluation on the fisheries control regime

Respect of fishing rules has improved in the past years, but more needs to be done to achieve full compliance, reveals a Commission evaluation on the fisheries control regime

Respect of fishing rules has improved in the past years, but more needs to be done to achieve full compliance, reveals a Commission evaluation on the fisheries control regime

25/04/2017

The European Commission has published its evaluation of the fisheries control regulation.

The report shows that Member States have generally implemented the main obligations set by this regulation, which remains a key instrument to deliver the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). However, the Commission concluded that many MS are yet to fully implement it. As a consequence, uneven situations emerged within the EU.

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

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime affairs and Fisheries, said: "Today's report highlights that the EU fisheries control regulation has helped stepping up a culture of compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy. Our evaluation however showed that more needs to be done to fully implement certain provisions. It is also clear that the current legislative framework is not entirely fit for purpose. We need to improve the overall performance of the control regulation, aiming at securing sustainable fisheries while at the same time improving synergies with other policies."

Since its adoption in 2009, the fisheries control regulation has contributed to improve the overall level of compliance with the CFP. It has also helped enhancing communication and data sharing among stakeholders, providing more and better quality fisheries data, as well as fostering the level playing field among operators.

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 exemptions granted to smaller vessels are considered by bigger actors to hamper the effectiveness of the entire fisheries control system.

The evaluation revealed that many stakeholders have concerns with regard to the control of some of the new obligations set in the reformed CFP, as for instance the landing obligation.

The Commission will present the result of the evaluation to Member States, to the European Parliament and relevant stakeholders to identify joint and effective solutions.

Background

Council regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 on fisheries control aims at providing a framework for a modern control and enforcement system to achieve the long term sustainability goals of the Common Fisheries Policy.

In accordance with article 118, the Commission shall report to the European Parliament and the Council on: 1) the status of implementation of the regulation in the Member States every five years, and 2) the evaluation of its impacts on the CFP five years after its entry into force. This report responds to those legal obligations for the first time since the entry into force of the regulation. It also includes an assessment in the context of the Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme (REFIT).

The report and accompanying staff working document rely on an extensive consultation process with relevant stakeholders and on a study carried out by external experts.

More information

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: 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

Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the report

External report: Evaluation of the impact of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 "establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with rules of the common fisheries policy”

Fisheries control regulation