Effective implementation of the Control Regulation is key to promoting sustainable fisheries, while differences between Member States can result in unfair competition. The Commission has proposed a revision of the current regulation to strengthen, modernise and clarify the rules.
Virginijus Sinkevičius,Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said:
Strong and efficient fisheries control system is a cornerstone for delivering on the objectives of the common fisheries policy (CFP) and the European Green Deal. Today’s report shows that more still needs to be done. While the full implementation of certain existing provisions requires renewed commitment and additional efforts by Member States, it also confirms that the ongoing reform of the fisheries control system is necessary. Without effective control and enforcement, even the best policy risks remaining toothless. A strong control system helps us to protect our valuable fisheries resources and preserve the livelihoods of our coastal communities. And it ensures that everybody plays by the same rules, which is first and foremost in the interest of all the fishermen and women who respect the rules each and every day.
While there have been significant improvements in the implementation of the current Regulation, compared to the previous reporting period (2010-2014), the report also points to shortcomings. Progress was made particularly in the use of satellite-based tracking systems for fishing vessels, by extending the electronic reporting of catch data and automating cross-checks of fisheries data. Member States have also improved their sanctioning systems, as confirmed by the recent Study on Member State Systems to Sanction Infringements to the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy. However, the report also found shortcomings in areas such as: control and verification of engine power; weighing procedures; control of the landing obligation; control of the external fleet; and sanctioning.
Over the years, the Commission and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) helped Member States to develop new IT tools, harmonise their risk assessment methodologies and coordinate inspections. In addition, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) provided the necessary financial support for the purchase, installation and development of new technologies and modernisation of control methods. The new European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) will continue supporting strengthening of the fisheries control.
In the coming years, the Commission will continue to work on the full implementation and enforcement of the CFP rules. The Commission will also continue to work alongside the Council and Parliament on the ongoing revision of the EU fisheries control system.
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