Last Friday an “explanatory note” on the revision of the EU-fisheries control system1 was reportedly circulated by the European Commission services to a few Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), mainly within the Committee on Environment. The note sounded the alarm about the position democratically adopted in the Committee on Fisheries (PECH) which “could reward and legalise underreporting, lead to massive overfishing and allow illegal discards to continue undetected and threaten the sustainable exploitation of marine biological resources”. According to Europêche, these statements unfairly put into question the good record of compliance of EU fleets, damages the image of the sector, lacks empathy with fishers and connection with fisheries’ realities. On top of that, the note clearly interferes the independent co-legislator role of the European Parliament.
Charlina Vitcheva, the new Director General of the DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, was welcomed yesterday by the representatives of the European fishing sector, Europêche and EAPO. The meeting allowed the fishers' representatives to present and discuss the key topics with Ms Vitcheva.
The European Commission proposed yesterday a new set of rules meant to revise the Union Fisheries Control System. Europêche, the representative body for fishermen and fishing vessel owners in the EU, agrees on the need to modernise and simplify the control and enforcement measures adopted back in 2009 as well as to ensure full compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). However, the European Commission (EC) pursues these objectives at the expense of the sector which will have to face extraordinary bureaucratic and economic burdens.
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) presented today at the European Parliament a special report called "EU fisheries controls: more efforts needed". The report examined the effectiveness of the current EU fisheries Control Regulation by auditing the control system implemented in four key Member States (Spain, France, Italy and the UK (Scotland)). The ECA concluded that the EU does not yet have a sufficiently effective system of fisheries controls to support the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Europêche, while recognising that there are areas for improvement, considers that the report does not reflect the significant progress made on fisheries control and monitoring over the last years nor represents the actual situation in the whole European Union.