In this joint NGO letter to the Commission co-signed by ClientEarth, Seas At Risk, Fisheries Secretariat, Our Fish, Oceana, WWF and BirdWatch Ireland, we express our serious concerns about the consequences of an ongoing failure to effectively implement, monitor and control the landing obligation. A key problem is that a number of approaches have already been taken to facilitate the implementation of the landing obligation, such as exemptions, quota increases to account for previous discards and bycatch TACs for vulnerable stocks with scientific zero-catch advice, based on the false assumption of full compliance.
In this letter we outline the various issues and provide recommendations for how the Commission should address these. While the day-to-day ‘on the water’ implementation of the landing obligation falls in large part into the hands of the Member States and the fishing industry itself, the Commission plays a crucial role in overseeing this process and stepping in if the achievement of the CFP’s objectives is being jeopardised. The letter was sent on 17 July 2019 to Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries João Aguiar Machado.