Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission
Article 18.2 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2847/93(1) states that Member States shall collect and communicate the catches by their vessels operating in waters subject to the sovereignty or jurisdiction of third countries, ‘broken down by third country and stock by reference to the smallest statistical zone defined for the fishery concerned’.
The figures received by the Commission pursuant to Article 18.2 for the year 2007 are given in the annexes which are being sent directly to the Honourable Member and to Parliament's Secretariat. For Portugal and the United Kingdom, however, the figures did not arrive via the normal catch-reporting system and may therefore be incomplete. These Member States have been reminded of their obligation to both respect the normal communication procedures and confirm the total catches for their vessels for the year 2007.
It should also be noted that certain Lithuanian vessels are currently fishing within Moroccan waters under private contracts signed before the coming into force of the EC/Morocco Agreement.
The information and data received under Regulation (EC) No 2847/93 does not, at present, allow the Commission to automatically determine the fishing category under which the catches have been made. Efforts are ongoing to improve this situation and it is expected that, from 2009, these additional elements will be included in the statistics.