EC gets tough on unsustainable fishing

Industry Database

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Regulation which would authorise the Commission to impose a range of measures against third countries that allow unsustainable fishing.

Once the proposal is approved by the European Parliament and the Council, the EU will have a new powerful tool to discourage unsustainable fishing practices swiftly and to promote international cooperation on shared fish resources.

The measures foreseen will range from restricting imports of fish products from the concerned stock as well as associated fish species to prohibiting the conclusion of chartering agreements with economic operators from countries allowing non-sustainable fishing.

The framework will guarantee strict respect of international law. The Commission will assess carefully the likely environmental, trade, economic and social effects of measures and the administrative costs of their implementation. The countries concerned will be granted an opportunity to be heard before the measures are adopted, and to take corrective actions to avoid them.

Maria Damanaki, Commissioner of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "This is a groundbreaking measure. If backed by Member States and the European Parliament, we will have for the first time an effective legal instrument to help us secure the conservation of fish stocks that the EU shares with other countries. This is of prime importance to our fishing communities and the long-term conservation of stocks - in the interest of consumers and the society at large." 

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