Joint NGO priorities on the revision of the EU Fisheries Control System

Published on November 15, 2019

A broad coalition of NGOs have together drawn up a series of recommendations based on the EU Commission proposal for the revision of the Fisheries Control System, this includes both an analysis of the proposal as well as a detailed 12 point plan for reform.

We have also produced a series of factsheets providing recommendations on a series of key policy areas: Remote Electronic Monitoring, Sanctions, Traceability, Transparency, IUU, small-scale fisheries, and The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA).

The recommendations should be read in the light of the recent exposés regarding misreporting in the Baltic pelagic fisheries, Europol’s success in arresting eel smugglers and in disrupting the illegal bluefin tuna market in the EU, as well as the European Commission identifying “severe” weaknesses in Ireland’s fishing controls and withholding over €6 million for failing to establish a new penalty points system for those who infringe the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy.

In addition, OLAF the European Anti-Fraud Office, are currently investigating Denmark after their Court of Auditors found that “invoicing has clearly indicated the use of front men and fraud”, the misuse of EMFF funds and discrimination of fishermen with regard to decisions on penalty points.

These examples highlight the need for a revised Fisheries Control System that improves the effectiveness of fisheries controls in the EU and underpins effective and sustainable fisheries management.