The 2022 Business of Seafood Report launched by BIM today starkly highlights KFO concerns access to approved Brexit funding IFPEA brexit support welcomed cameras ports landing obligation

Cameras in ports to enforce landing obligation, and a ban on bottom fishing should be extended until the end of 2027 votes the PECH Committee

  • Camera and sensor technologies in ports of member states where more than 3 000 tonnes of pelagic species are weighed per year
  • Aim is to ensure surveillance of ‘large’ landings
  • Transhipment operations at sea should be previously authorised and communicated within one hour
  • Contracted parties are banned from discarding or releasing catches of listed species

Ports in the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission area, where landings superior to 10 tonnes of certain pelagic stocks occur, will need to install surveillance systems for landings.

On Tuesday, members of the Committee on Fisheries approved, with 15 votes in favour to 2 against and 9 abstentions, a proposal to transpose into EU law new rules on management, conservation and control for the area under the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC). They also adopted, with the same result, the mandate to start interinstitutional negotiations.

According to the adopted text, the landing obligation of certain pelagic stocks in the ports of five of the six members from this regional fisheries organisation – Norway, the EU, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, Iceland and the United Kingdom – should be controlled by cameras and sensor technologies. This is applicable where landings exceed 10 tonnes of pelagic species and where more than 3 000 tonnes of these stocks are weighed per calendar year.

Small-scale fisheries are not affected by the new surveillance provisions. Facilities where landing and processing above 10 tonnes do not take place, but where more than 3 000 tonnes/year are weighed, are not required to implement the new measure.

Member states should put forward a list of their ports meeting these requirements, where the new rules will be applied from January 2023. Support under the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) could be provided to set up the surveillance system.


Control of transhipments and prohibiting discards

The measures adopted in the NEAFC 41st annual meeting, in November 2022, and in force since last March, detail that transhipments at sea should be previously authorised by the flag receiving party, while both the donor and receiving vessels should also inform the secretariat of the regulatory area. Receiving vessels also need to communicate, within one hour after the transhipment of fish caught in the NEAFC area, the total catch on board, the total weight to be landed, the name of port and date and time of landing, at least 24 hours in advance of any landing, regardless the port is inside or outside the Convention Area.

Twenty-two species were added to the list of species for which discarding catches is banned, among those cod, haddock, common sole, pollack, and Norway lobster. This update replaces a list from 2010.


Bottom fishing

With the purpose of protecting marine vulnerable ecosystems, and based on scientific advice, the ban on bottom fishing should be extended until the end of 2027, as defined in Article 5, coordinates in Annex II, MEPs agreed.



On 30 June 2023, the European Commission published its proposal to transpose the most recent NEAFC recommendations that are not already covered by European Union law. This proposal would also bring together in one single regulation all NEAFC measures that are currently covered by different regulations.

In 2022, the European Union had 301 fishing vessels authorised to operate in the NEAFC Regulatory Area (i.e. beyond national waters of its members), covering from the southern tip of Greenland to Novya Semlya and from the North Pole to the southern part of the Spanish mainland.

This fisheries management organisation does not cover tuna and tuna-like species, which are the responsibility of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

Conservation and management measures adopted at its annual meetings are binding to its contracting parties: Denmark (for the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The boats fishing in NEAFC area have mainly Irish or Spanish flags but the actual EU fishing activity in this area is rather limited, says the rapporteur. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have currently the most significant fishing activity in international waters of the Barents Sea. Vessels from Portugal, Spain, France and the Netherlands operate in other areas to a lesser extent. The vast majority of fishing activity is thus concentrated in Union waters, under national jurisdiction.


Source: Press Release

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