norwegian sandeel fishing 2024 stricter controls reporting fisheries

The European Commission has approved stricter controls for more flexible catch reporting in specific fisheries

Commission Approves Stricter Controls for More Flexible Catch Reporting in Specific Fisheries

The European Commission has introduced new conditions and safeguards for certain exemptions to the margin of tolerance rules to enhance the accuracy of fish quotas and ensure the sustainability of fisheries.

This decision, adopted today, aims to balance operational flexibility for fishers with stringent control measures to protect fish stocks.


Margin of Tolerance and New Exemptions

The margin of tolerance refers to the permissible difference between the estimated and actual weight of fish catches. Traditionally, this margin is set at 10% per species, allowing captains some leeway in their estimations. The new measures, however, apply exemptions to this standard in three specific fisheries where catches are not sorted upon landing:

– Small pelagic fisheries

– Industrial fisheries

– Tropical tuna fisheries using purse seiners

These exemptions are applicable only when fish are landed and transhipped at ports designated by the Commission, which will be subject to stricter controls.


Enhanced Control Measures

To support these exemptions, the Commission has outlined specific conditions and requirements for their use. These include rigorous weighing procedures to ensure accurate catch registration, ensuring that all fishing fleets are treated equally, whether they operate within or outside the EU.

International Compliance and Cooperation

Implementing these measures in non-EU ports will enhance the EU’s cooperation with third countries on fisheries control, fostering a culture of compliance and promoting sustainable fisheries practices internationally.


Next Steps

EU Member States are now invited to submit proposals for ports that meet the criteria to utilise the derogation. The Commission will review these proposals and publish the initial list of eligible ports by July 2024.



These measures represent the initial phase of a broader strategy by the Commission to ensure the effective implementation of the revised Control Regulation, aiming to improve fisheries management and sustainability across the region.

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