irish fishing 2024 mcconalogue stricter fisheries control systems

The EU Council of Ministers has approved stricter fisheries control systems with around 70 percent of exiting rules updated

In a significant, the Council of the European Union has approved the revision of the EU’s fisheries control system.

According to the Council, the updated regulations aim to modernise and enhance the efficiency of fishing control mechanisms.

Acting Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, Luis Planas Puchades, expressed the importance of the adopted regulation in keeping the fisheries control system aligned with technological advancements. The goal is to effectively prevent overfishing, benefiting both the environment and the socio-economic sustainability of fishing communities.

Approximately 70% of the existing rules governing fishing vessel control have been updated with the new regulation. This step ensures that EU vessels and those fishing in EU waters adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The key changes introduced include:

  1. Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) and Electronic Recording: All fishing vessels will be tracked through a VMS, and catches must be electronically recorded. Exemptions may be granted for certain small-scale coastal fishing vessels under 9 metres until December 31, 2029.
  2. Remote Electronic Monitoring: Larger vessels will use electronic monitoring tools to prevent the discard of unwanted catches at sea, promoting compliance with the ‘landing obligation.’
  3. Recreational Fisheries: Recreational fishers targeting specific species must record and report their catches via an electronic system, with the possibility of expanding the covered species based on scientific advice.
  4. Sanctioning System Revision: A comprehensive list of serious infringements of CFP rules is established at the EU level, ensuring effective and proportionate administrative sanctions. Criminal sanctions may also be applied.
  5. Digital Traceability: Improved digital traceability along the supply chain for fresh fishery and aquaculture products, with a transition period for processed products following a Commission study.

The new system also introduces rules on the margin of tolerance when estimating catches, aiming to prevent misreporting. Different margin percentages will apply based on species and weight.

Additionally, the EU will implement a digital system, named ‘CATCH,’ to manage catch certificates and related documents in the context of the catch certification scheme for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. This system will enhance authorities’ ability to detect products from IUU fishing.

The revision of the EU’s fisheries control system was initiated in 2018, and the final deal between the Council and the Parliament was reached on May 30, 2023. The detailed rules for the application of the new provisions and transitional provisions have been adopted to allow sufficient time for adaptation.


Source: Press Release

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