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Fisheries Control: Not Yet Good Enough

  • April 18th, 2007
  • Posted by Sarah West

fishing-trawlker-1-resized1.jpgA fisheries report has prompted the European Union to consider more effective means of policing its own fishing practices, in particular by suggesting member countries of the EU need to do more in the way of enforcement.

Writer: Sarah West.

With a population of over 500-million people in the EU alone the demand for fish and other seafood is high.

Its common fisheries policy established in 2003 dictates that European states should both comply with set guidelines on quotas to be caught, and hold inspections to evaluate their own compliance.

However the report now adopted by the European Commission, on the success of the Policy’s first two years, has concluded European states are not doing enough.

Mireilae Thom from the European Commission Fisheries and Maritime Affairs directorate says that addressing the way fishing is managed in Europe has a global impact.

“Fish are mobile and what each of us does in terms of fishing may have an impact further afield,” she said in Brussels(10.4.07).

“Therefore it is important to make sure that rules that have been agreed by the Ministers are applied…

“One surprising thing is that member states often fail to use the new technologies like the use of the satellite-based vessel monitoring system to cross check information that vessels provide on their catches…

“If there is continued failure the European Commission can, and does, open infringement procedures against the member states concerned.”

Not all is bad in the current outlook, according to Ms Thom.

“There have been improvements, and this is encouraging; there have been improvements especially in the last few years.”

The European Commission will continue discussions about how to better implement the policy in the coming months.