The European Union is gearing up to introduce stricter regulations against illegal fishing, following the successful approval of a preliminary proposal by the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee.
The endorsed plan, secured with a 20-8 vote, signals a comprehensive overhaul of the EU's current fisheries control regulations. A key aspect of this plan involves incorporating advanced electronic tracking and traceability requirements. These measures are intended to boost transparency and clamp down on illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities. As part of this proposal, all vessels within the EU's jurisdiction will be mandated to install location tracking devices by 2030. Additionally, fishermen will be obligated to document all catches using electronic logbooks.
Ignacio Fresco Vanzini, Senior Policy Officer at Oceana Europe, praised the adoption of these novel fisheries control regulations as a significant milestone. Vanzini highlighted the transformative effect of this move, emphasizing that all EU fishing vessels, irrespective of size, will be required to provide real-time location tracking at sea. This is expected to have a positive impact on sustainable fisheries management, by enhancing transparency and delivering tangible benefits to fishermen, including improved safety and more efficient fishing operations.
Clara Aguilera, a Spanish Member of the European Parliament, underscored the proposal's importance in driving the complete digitization of the EU's fishing sector. Aguilera explained that this regulation introduces new tools and increased flexibility, streamlining work for fishermen while upholding marine resource sustainability. Aguilera acknowledged the effort and time invested in reaching a well-balanced agreement, resulting in the formulation of the best possible regulation.
Following the legislative body's summer recess until August 22, the proposal will progress to the full European Parliament for approval. This step represents a significant stride towards combating illegal fishing practices and promoting sustainable approaches within the EU's vital fishing industry.
Source: Jason H. (Jul 21, 2023). EU tightens the net on illegal fishing with restructuring of fisheries control rules. Seafoodsource. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/premium/environment-sustainability/eu-tightens-the-net-on-illegal-fishing-with-restructuring-of-fisheries-control-rules?mkt_tok=NzU2LUZXSi0wNjEAAAGM8kiK2jKwpejf9elRL5pWCgODQCr3PjOUdiaKeL2ST6DLaOTHteRyC_dDcS7p-hKufpskLvCoAleSMZG6NCqXaWevyAtbrly1ZfRjl5AtUfvLmcA