PECH Committee adopts four new proposals on fisheries controls

PECH Committee adopts four new proposals on fisheries controls

The European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries (PECH Committee) has adopted four new proposals on fisheries controls put forward by Spanish MEP, Clara Aguilera. 

The new proposals were adopted with 23 votes in favour, two against and three abstentions from the PECH Committee.

The next stage for the report will see it submitted to plenary confirmation on 08 March and trialogue negotiations will then start as soon as the Council is ready. 

The four proposals adopted by the PECH Committee are as follows: 

1/. The voluntary use of CCTV as a remote electronic monitoring device with incentives such as deletion of points for boat owners to install the systems onboard their vessels. 

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2/. Geolocation and electronic logbooks being made mandatory for all fishing vessels. At one point it was proposed that fishing vessels under 10 metres would be exempted. 

3/. The setting-up of an EU register for fisheries regulations infringements. 

4/. Traceability rules throughout the whole chain. 

Background: 

On 30 May 2018, the European Commission proposed the revision of the fisheries control system, aimed at modernising and simplifying the rules for monitoring fisheries activities and ensuring compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The proposal also intends to bring to date a control system that was conceived before the 2013 CFP reform. The revision centres around the amendment of the Control Regulation 1224/2009. 

In addition to the Control Regulation, the proposal revises the mandate of European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) to align its objective with the reformed CFP, and the IUU Regulation 1005/2008, to replace the current paper-based catch certification scheme with a digital information management system named CATCH. 

On 18 June 2018, the Commission presented the proposal to the Council. The ministers highlighted the need to simplify the current system without additional administrative burden and touched on the possibility of obtaining financial support for the proposed electronic solutions. 

The Commission also presented the proposal to the responsible PECH Committee on 20 June 2018. The Committee considered the proposal on the basis of the draft report put forward by the rapporteur Isabelle Thomas (S&D, France) on 18 December 2018. However, in March 2019 the Committee decided that it was not possible to adopt its report before the end of the legislature. 

The file had been carried over as unfinished business under the current parliamentary term. The PECH Committee appointed Clara Aguilera (S&D, Spain) as rapporteur on 23 July 2019, with the ENVI Committee providing an opinion (rapporteur Pascal Canfin (Renew, France)). On 29 January 2020, the Commission highlighted the proposal as a priority in its Work Programme 2020 (Annex III), under the theme ‘A European Green Deal’.  

The new draft report, published on 19 February 2020, strongly supported the harmonisation of the fisheries control and inspection system across Member States, and introduces single EU-harmonised forms for various documents. (Source) 

PECH Committee adopts four new proposals on fisheries controls

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