EU Commission calls on France and Spain to ensure compliance with obligations regarding control and enforcement of the landing obligation
The EU Commission has called on France and Spain to ensure compliance with obligations regarding control and enforcement of the landing obligation.
The Commission is calling on France and Spain to ensure compliance with obligations regarding the control and enforcement of the landing obligation under the Common Fisheries Policy Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013) and the Fisheries Control Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009).
This obligation was introduced during the last reform of the common fisheries policy in 2013 to end the wasteful and unsustainable practice of discarding, when unwanted catches are returned to the sea.
The issues at stake also concern the non-compliance by Spain and France with the obligations under the Regulation on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU Regulation – Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008).
In particular, France and Spain failed in ensuring the control and enforcement of the obligation that all catches of species subject to catch limits and, in the Mediterranean, species subject to minimum sizes, are brought and retained on board fishing vessels and then recorded, landed and counted against quotas, where applicable.
Effective control and enforcement of fishing activities at sea and the accurate recording of catches and discarded quantities are essential for the implementation of the landing obligation and for supporting the long-term sustainability objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy.
It is also important in order to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.
The Commission considers that Spain and France have not taken the necessary steps to address the above-mentioned obligations.
Therefore, the Commission decided to send letters of formal notice to Spain and France giving them two months to respond and address the shortcomings. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.