Our Fish Responds to EU Control Regulation Review May 2018

Control regulation review May 2018 
Brussels, 30 May 2018:-  The EU Commission today released their proposal for a revised Fisheries Control Regulation. Our Fish and civil society groups are disappointed that the review of such an important regulation was subject to a rushed process, which did not provide for full and comprehensive stakeholder consultation, and thereby limited the scope of its ambition.
“We welcome the proposal by the European Commision to introduce remote electronic monitoring (REM) to ensure effective enforcement of the landing obligation, however we would like to see it more clearly specify that all vessels with a higher risk of illegal discarding are obliged to use remote electronic monitoring. This would ensure the enormous environmental benefits promised by the ban on discards are secured, and ensure a level playing field across all EU member states and fleets,” said Our Fish Programme Director Rebecca Hubbard.
The EU introduced the landing obligation in 2013 to tackle its high level of fish discards – an estimated 1,7 million tonnes of fish every year, corresponding to 23% of all catches in 2011. It requires fishermen to land all catches  and will come fully into force in all EU fisheries by 2019, however to-date, compliance with the new law is understood to be extremely low. Experts believe Remote Electronic Monitoring (such as CCTV) is the most cost-effective monitoring tool, due to the ability to record video images of fishing activities on a vessel at the exact location of the vessel. 
“The Commission’s proposal also lacks ambition on improving transparency in registration of sanctions for illegal fisheries. Information on the extent to which EU member states fine illegal fisheries is still held behind closed doors, which is particularly disappointing because  without transparency, effective implementation of fisheries law is extremely difficult”, concluded Hubbard. 
The forthcoming discussion with the European Parliament and the EU AGRIFISH Council will be key to ensure the revised regulation delivers a more effective fisheries control system on all aspects.
Dave Walsh, Our Fish Communications Advisor, dave@our.fish +34 691826764
Rebecca Hubbard, Our Fish Program Director, rebecca@our.fish +34 657669425
About Our Fish
Our Fish works to ensure European member states implement the Common Fisheries Policy and achieve sustainable fish stocks in European waters.
Our Fish works with organisations and individuals across Europe to deliver a powerful and unwavering message: overfishing must be stopped, and solutions put in place that ensure Europe’s waters are fished sustainably. Our Fish demands that the Common Fisheries Policy be properly enforced, and Europe’s fisheries effectively governed.
Our Fish calls on all EU Member States to set annual fishing limits at sustainable limits based on scientific advice, and to ensure that their fishing fleets prove that they are fishing sustainably, through monitoring and full documentation of their catch.
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