Procedure : 2008/0216(CNS)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0253/2009

Texts tabled :

A6-0253/2009

Debates :

PV 21/04/2009 - 22
CRE 21/04/2009 - 22

Votes :

PV 22/04/2009 - 6.39
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


REPORT     *
PDF 441kWORD 606k
6 April 2009
PE 420.021v02-00 A6-0253/2009

on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy

(COM(2008)0721 – C6-0510/2008 – 2008/0216(CNS))

Committee on Fisheries

Rapporteur: Raül Romeva i Rueda

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 MINORITY OPINION
 OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy

(COM(2008)0721 – C6-0510/2008 – 2008/0216(CNS))

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2008)0721),

–   having regard to Article 37 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0510/2008),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries and the opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0253/2009),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

3.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) Currently control provisions are spread in a wide number of overlapping and complex legal texts. Some parts of the control system are poorly implemented by Member States which results in insufficient and divergent measures in response to infringements of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy thereby undermining the creation of a level playing field for fishermen across the Community. Accordingly the existing regime and all the obligations therein should be consolidated, rationalised and simplified, in particular through reduction of double regulation and administrative burdens.

(4) Currently control provisions are spread in a wide number of overlapping and complex legal texts. Some parts of the control system are poorly implemented by Member States, and the Commission has not proposed all of the necessary implementing regulations needed for Regulation (EEC) No 2847/1993. The result is insufficient and divergent measures in response to infringements of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy thereby undermining the creation of a level playing field for fishermen across the Community. Accordingly the existing regime and all the obligations therein should be consolidated, rationalised and simplified, in particular through reduction of double regulation and administrative burdens.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(14a) The Common Fisheries Policy covers the conservation, management and exploitation of living aquatic resources, so that all types of activities that exploit such resources are treated on an equal basis, whether they be commercial or non-commercial. It would be discriminatory to subject commercial fisheries to strict controls and limits while largely exempting non-commercial fisheries.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19) Control activities and methods should be based on risk management using cross-checking procedures in a systematic and comprehensive way.

(19) Control activities and methods should be based on risk management using cross-checking procedures in a systematic and comprehensive way by Member States. It is also necessary for Member States to exchange relevant information.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24) An integrated maritime surveillance network should be established between surveillance, monitoring, identification and tracking systems operated for the purposes of maritime security and safety, protection of the marine environment, fisheries control, border control, general law enforcement, and trade facilitation. The network shall have the ability to continuously make available information on activities in the maritime domain in order to support a timely decision process. In turn this would allow, the public authorities engaged in surveillance activities to provide a more effective and cost efficient service. To this end Automatic Identification Systems, Vessel Monitoring Systems as referred to in Commission Regulation (EC) No 2244/2003 of 18 December 2003, laying down detailed provisions regarding satellite-based vessel monitoring systems and Vessel Detection Systems data collected in the framework of this Regulation should be transmitted and used by other public authorities engaged in the surveillance activities above mentioned.

(24) An integrated maritime surveillance network should be established between surveillance, monitoring, identification and tracking systems operated for the purposes of maritime security and safety, protection of the marine environment, fisheries control, border control, general law enforcement, and trade facilitation, geared to the different situations in the Member States. The network shall have the ability to continuously make available information on activities in the maritime domain in order to support a timely decision process. In turn this would allow, the public authorities engaged in surveillance activities to provide a more effective and cost efficient service. To this end Automatic Identification Systems, Vessel Monitoring Systems as referred to in Commission Regulation (EC) No 2244/2003 of 18 December 2003, laying down detailed provisions regarding satellite-based vessel monitoring systems and Vessel Detection Systems data collected in the framework of this Regulation should be transmitted and used by other public authorities engaged in the surveillance activities above mentioned.

Justification

This is to ensure that surveillance measures are appropriate.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 29

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(29) Powers should be conferred to the Commission to close a fishery when the quota of a Member State or a TAC itself is exhausted. The Commission should also be empowered to deduct quotas and refuse quota transfers or quota exchanges to ensure the achievement of the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy by the Member States.

(29) Powers should be conferred to the Commission to close a fishery when the quota of a Member State or a TAC itself is exhausted.

Justification

Any Member State that allows a fleet repeatedly to exceed its quota or that fails to take the measures necessary to ensure compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy should be penalised. Nevertheless, the mechanisms for doing so should not involve the deduction of quotas and refusal of quota transfers or quota exchanges, since this would not affect the Member State that is failing to comply but would affect fleets which may be totally uninvolved in the infringements, and even - in the case of quota exchanges - other Member States that have nothing to do with the violation in question. Furthermore, these measures would mean that the Commission could unilaterally alter the relative stability among the Member States.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 34

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(34) The measures necessary for the implementation of this Regulation should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission. All measures adopted by the Commission to implement this Regulation will comply with the proportionality principle.

(34) The measures necessary for the implementation of this Regulation should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, as amended by Council Decision 2006/512/EC of 17 July 2006. All measures adopted by the Commission to implement this Regulation will comply with the proportionality principle.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 39

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(39) In accordance with the principle of proportionality, it is necessary and appropriate for the achievement of the basic objective of ensuring the effective implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy to establish a comprehensive and uniform system of controls. This Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve the objectives pursued, in accordance with the third paragraph of Article 5 of the Treaty.

(39) In accordance with the principle of proportionality, it is necessary and appropriate for the achievement of the basic objective of ensuring the effective implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy to establish a comprehensive and uniform system of controls, taking account of the fact that small-scale and artisanal fisheries clearly differ from industrial, subsistence and recreational fisheries and that a system of control regulations should reflect these differences in an appropriate manner. This Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve the objectives pursued, in accordance with the third paragraph of Article 5 of the Treaty.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Regulation establishes a Community system for control, monitoring, surveillance, inspection, and enforcement (hereinafter to be referred to as "Community control system") of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy.

This Regulation establishes a Community system for control, with the aim of ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Justification

The aim of this regulation is to control the application of the CFP, without prejudice to Member States' subsidiary obligations.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – point 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) "Fishing activity" means searching for fish, shooting, setting, hauling of a fishing gear, taking catch on board, transhipping, retaining on board, processing on board, transferring and caging of fish and fishery products;

(1) "Fishing activity" means searching for fish, shooting, setting, hauling of a fishing gear, taking catch on board, transhipping, retaining on board, landing, processing on board, transferring, caging and fattening of fish and fishery products;

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – point 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a) "Serious infringement" means those activities listed in Article 42(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008;

Justification

The term 'serious infringement" should be defined according to the IUU regulation in order to avoid confusion.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – point 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7a) "Recreational Fisheries" means non-commercial fishing activities exploiting living aquatic resources for recreation or sport and including, inter alia, recreational angling, sports fishing, sports tournaments and other forms of recreational fishing;

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – point 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) "Fishing authorisation" means a fishing authorisation issued in respect of a Community fishing vessel in addition to its fishing licence, entitling it to carry out fishing activities in Community waters in general and/or specific fishing activities during a specified period, in a given area or for a given fishery under specific conditions;

(8) "Fishing authorisation" means a fishing authorisation issued in respect of a Community fishing vessel in addition to its fishing licence, entitling it to carry out fishing activities and/or specific fishing activities during a specified period, in a given area or for a given fishery under specific conditions;

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – point 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) "Processing" means the process by which the presentation was prepared. It includes cleaning, filleting, icing, packing, canning, freezing, smoking, salting, cooking, pickling, drying or preparing fish for market in any other manner;

(17) "Processing" means the process by which the presentation was prepared. It includes filleting, packing, canning, freezing, smoking, salting, cooking, pickling, drying or preparing fish for market in any other manner;

Justification

Including cleaning and icing as part of the processing process is excessive and may have consequences when it comes to defining eco-labelling for processed products, for example. Icing merely ensures that fish can be conserved on board and then sold as a fresh rather than a frozen product. Cleaning fish immediately is virtually indispensable in order to prevent the proliferation of parasites which could make the fish unsaleable.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Member States shall control the activities carried out by any natural or legal person within the scope of the Common Fisheries Policy on their territory and within waters subject to their sovereignty or jurisdiction, in particular fishing, transhipments, transfer of fish to cages or aquaculture installations including fattening installations, landing, import, transport, marketing and storage of fishery products.

1. Member States shall control the activities carried out by any natural or legal person within the scope of the Common Fisheries Policy on their territory and within waters subject to their sovereignty or jurisdiction, in particular fishing, aquaculture activities, transhipments, transfer of fish to cages or aquaculture installations including fattening installations, landing, import, transport, marketing and storage of fishery products.

Justification

Aquaculture activities are part of the scope of this proposed regulation.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Each Member State shall ensure that control, inspection, monitoring, surveillance and enforcement is carried out on a non-discriminatory basis as regards the sectors, vessels or persons chosen for inspection, and on the basis of risk management.

4. Each Member State shall ensure that control, inspection, monitoring, surveillance and enforcement is carried out on a non-discriminatory basis as regards sectors, vessels or persons, and on the basis of risk management.

Justification

It is the Member States that are responsible for carrying out inspections, and they in turn are subject to control and supervision by the Commission.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The flag Member State shall suspend temporarily the fishing licence of a vessel which is subject to temporary immobilisation decided by that Member State and which has had its fishing authorisation suspended in accordance with Article 45 paragraph 1 d) of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008.

3. The flag Member State shall suspend temporarily the fishing licence of a vessel which is subject to temporary immobilisation decided by that Member State and which has had its fishing authorisation suspended in accordance with Article 45(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008.

Justification

An error in transcription in the Commission's proposal.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The flag Member State shall withdraw permanently the fishing licence-of a vessel which is the subject of a capacity adjustment measure referred to in Article 11(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 or which has had its fishing authorisation withdrawn in accordance with article 45 (1) (d) of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008.

4. The flag Member State shall withdraw permanently the fishing licence-of a vessel which is the subject of a capacity adjustment measure referred to in Article 11(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 or which has had its fishing authorisation withdrawn in accordance with Article 45(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008.

Justification

An error in transcription in the Commission's proposal.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

f) fishing activities with bottom gears in areas not under the responsibility of a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation;

f) fishing activities with bottom gears in international waters not under the responsibility of a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation; a list shall be drawn up of the gears referred to in this provision;

Justification

A detailed list of such gears should be drawn up because they may have a wider impact on the marine ecosystem.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. A fishing vessel exceeding 10 meters length overall shall have installed on board a fully functioning device which allows that vessel to be automatically located and identified through the Vessel Monitoring System by transmitting position data at regular intervals. It shall also allow the Fisheries Monitoring Centre of the flag Member State to poll the fishing vessel. For vessels exceeding 10 meters length and up to 15 meters length overall this paragraph shall apply as from 1 January 2012.

2. A fishing vessel exceeding 10 meters length overall shall have installed on board a fully functioning device which allows that vessel to be automatically located and identified through the Vessel Monitoring System by transmitting position data at regular intervals. It shall also allow the Fisheries Monitoring Centre of the flag Member State to poll the fishing vessel. For vessels exceeding 10 meters length and up to 15 meters length overall this paragraph shall apply as from 1 July 2013.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. Financial assistance for the installation of Vessel Monitoring System devices shall be eligible for funding under Article 8(a) of Regulation (ES) No 861/2006. Co-financing from the Community budget shall be at the rate of 80%.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 6 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

a) operate exclusively within the territorial seas of the flag Member State or

a) operate exclusively within the territorial seas of the flag Member State and

Justification

The derogation should be limited to vessels that fish in the territorial sea and for not longer than 24 hours.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission may require a Member State to use a Vessel Detection System for a given fishery and at a given time.

2. The Commission, after providing documentary justification by submitting evidence of failure to comply with control measures or scientific reports, may require a Member State to use a Vessel Detection System for a given fishery and at a given time.

Justification

Excessive degree of discretion for the Commission. Any unilateral decision by the Commission must be duly justified.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The permitted margin of tolerance in estimates recorded in the logbook of the quantities in kilograms of fish retained on board shall be 5 %.

3. The permitted margin of tolerance in estimates recorded in the logbook of the quantities in kilograms of fish retained on board shall be 10%.

Justification

A 5% margin of tolerance is too little since, in declaring the catch, it is also necessary to take account of 2% live weight, leaving a de facto margin of only 3%. For example, for a catch of 40 kg, an excess of over 1.2 kg would draw a penalty. There is virtually unanimous opposition to the drastic cut in the margin of tolerance from 20% to 5%, both in the industry and in the majority of national administrations. Whilst 20% may be too high, it should be pointed out that a limit of 8% was set for species subject to a recovery plan. An across-the-board reduction to 5% for all species is excessive.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. Financial assistance for the installation of electronic logbooks shall be eligible for funding under Article 8(a) of Regulation (ES) No 861/2006. Co-financing from the Community budget shall be at the rate of 80%.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Paragraph 1 shall apply to Community fishing vessels exceeding 15 meters length and up to 24 meters length overall as from 1 July 2011, and to Community fishing vessels exceeding 10 meters length and up to 15 meters length overall as from 1 January 2012. Community vessels up to 15 meters length overall may be exempted from paragraph 1 if they:

2. Paragraph 1 shall apply to Community fishing vessels exceeding 15 meters length and up to 24 meters length overall as from 1 July 2011, and to Community fishing vessels exceeding 10 meters length and up to 15 meters length overall as from 1 July 2013. Community vessels up to 15 meters length overall may be exempted from paragraph 1 if they:

a) operate exclusively within the territorial seas of the flag Member State, or

a) operate exclusively within the territorial seas of the flag Member State, and

b) never spend more than 24 hours at sea taken from the time of departure to the return to port.

b) never spend more than 24 hours at sea taken from the time of departure to the return to port.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1 – introductory wording

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Without prejudice to specific provisions contained in multiannual plans, masters of Community fishing vessels or their representatives shall notify the competent authorities of the Member State whose port or landing facilities they wish to use at least 4 hours before the estimated time of arrival at the port, unless the competent authorities have given permission for an earlier entry, of the following information:

1. Without prejudice to specific provisions contained in multiannual plans, masters of Community fishing vessels or their representatives having species on board which are subject to catch or effort limits shall notify the competent authorities of the Member State whose port or landing facilities they wish to use at least 4 hours before the estimated time of arrival at the port, unless the competent authorities have given permission for an earlier entry, of the following information:

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

d) dates of the fishing trip and the areas in which the catches were taken;

d) dates of the fishing trip and the areas in which the catches were taken; the area shall be to the same level of detail as under Article 14(1);

Justification

The proposal currently has several different forms of wording for how the geographical origin of the fish should be described in the various documents. This and other amendments seek to standardize it, for ease of application.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

f) the quantities of each species retained on board, including zero catches returns;

f) the quantities of each species retained on board;

Justification

This paragraph is incomprehensible. Firstly, it is impossible to 'retain on board' something equal to zero. Secondly, what are fishermen supposed to do if they have to notify what they have not caught? Carry a list of all the species that are not found in the Atlantic, for instance, and note 'zero kilos' for all the species they have not caught? This wording is too confusing and would require much clarification before it can be accepted. It is going too far to require information concerning fish which have not been caught.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The Commission, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 111, may exempt certain categories of fishing vessels from the obligation set out in paragraph 1 for a limited period, which may be renewed, or make provision for another notification period taking into account, inter alia, the type of fishery products, the distance between the fishing grounds, landing places and ports where the vessels in question are registered.

4. The Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may set, for certain categories of fishing vessels, another notification period for the obligation laid down in paragraph 1 taking into account, inter alia, the type of fishery products, the distance between the fishing grounds, landing places and ports where the vessels in question are registered.

Justification

The conditions governing notification could be made more flexible for certain categories of fishing vessels and taking into account distances from the fishing grounds and the landing place, but no vessel should be exempt from these obligations. The risk posed by exceptions, particularly where the exact criteria justifying them are not known in advance, is that they could hollow out the rules, complicate the work of control authorities and create distrust among operators, all the more so if the Commission itself were to decide which vessels would be exempt without any pre-established criteria for such exceptions.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a. The competent authorities of the Member State whose port or landing facilities the master of a fishing vessel wishes to use, having made a request to do so at least four hours prior to the estimated time of arrival at the port shall, within two hours of receiving this request, give permission accordingly.

Justification

It is only reasonable for the master of a fishing vessel to receive from the authorities within a reasonable time permission to use landing facilities.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The transhipment declaration shall indicate the quantity of fishery products by species that has been transhipped, the date and place of each catch, the names of the vessels involved and the ports of transhipment and destination. Masters of both the vessels involved shall be held responsible for the accuracy of such declarations.

3. The transhipment declaration shall indicate the quantity of fishery products by species that has been transhipped, the date and place of each catch, the names of the vessels involved and the ports of transhipment and destination. Masters of both the vessels involved shall be held responsible for the accuracy of such declarations. The area shall be to the same level of detail as under Article 14(1).

Justification

The proposal currently has several different forms of wording for how the geographical origin of the fish should be described in the various documents. This and other amendments seek to standardize it, for ease of application.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The Commission, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 111, may exempt certain categories of fishing vessels from the obligation laid down in paragraph 1 for a limited and renewable period, or make provision for another notification period taking into account, inter alia, the type of fishery products and the distance between the fishing grounds, landing places and ports where the vessels in question are registered.

deleted

Justification

The entire wording of this paragraph has been borrowed from Article 17(4) on obligations as regards landing notifications, even though in this case it refers to transhipment declarations. Bearing in mind that transhipments are among the weakest links in the control chain for the traceability of fishery products, there should be no exceptions in this regard.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. When giving the authorisation to land, the competent authorities shall assign a unique landing number (ULN) to the landing and inform the master of the vessel thereof. If the landing is interrupted, permission shall be required before the landing recommences.

deleted

Justification

The ULN appears nowhere else in the proposal and should be deleted, incorporating the information in Article 50 on traceability, where each lot receives a number.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Without prejudice to specific provisions contained in multiannual plans, the master or his representative of a Community fishing vessel exceeding 10 meters length overall shall transmit landing declaration data by electronic means to the competent authorities of the flag Member State within 2 hours after completion of the landing.

2. Without prejudice to specific provisions contained in multiannual plans, the master or his representative of a Community fishing vessel exceeding 10 meters length overall shall transmit landing declaration data by electronic means to the competent authorities of the flag Member State within 6 hours after completion of the landing.

Justification

This is to change the time limit, raising it from 2 hours to a minimum of 6 hours, given that the vessel traffic in auction centres, logistics and arrangements for the landing and sales system are incompatible with a shorter deadline. It should be pointed out that the notification deadline currently stands at 48 hours, which makes the radical change proposed in this proposal all the more unacceptable. It illustrates the legislator's lack of familiarity with work patterns in relation to the first sale of fresh and frozen fish. Even though this information is transmitted electronically, after collection of the data stipulated by Article 14, two hours seems too short a time. It should be borne in mind that with these being vessels of over 10 meters in length that can transport a sizeable catch and Article 14 calling for very detailed information, too short a period may mean that subsequent corrections have to be made, thus complicating and duplicating administrative procedures that are already very difficult.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Paragraph 2 shall apply to Community fishing vessels exceeding 15 meters length and up to 24 meters length overall as from 1 July 2011, and to Community fishing vessels exceeding 10 meters length and up to 15 meters length overall as from 1 January 2012. Community vessels up to 15 meters length overall may be exempted from the application of paragraph 2 if they:

4. Paragraph 2 shall apply to Community fishing vessels exceeding 15 meters length and up to 24 meters length overall as from 1 July 2011, and to Community fishing vessels exceeding 10 meters length and up to 15 meters length overall as from 1 July 2013. Community vessels up to 15 meters length overall may be exempted from the application of paragraph 2 if they:

a) operate exclusively within the territorial seas of the flag Member State, or

a) operate exclusively within the territorial seas of the flag Member State, and

b) never spend more than 24 hours at sea taken from the time of departure to the return to port.

b) never spend more than 24 hours at sea taken from the time of departure to the return to port.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. For vessels exempted from the requirement set out in paragraph 2, the master, or his representative, shall record upon landing and submit as soon as possible and not later than 24 hours after landing, a landing declaration to the competent authorities of the Member State where the landing has taken place.

5. For vessels exempted from the requirement set out in paragraph 2, the master, or his representative, shall record upon landing and submit as soon as possible and not later than 24 hours after landing, a landing declaration to the competent authorities of the Member State where the landing has taken place, which shall forward it without delay to the flag Member State.

Justification

The flag Member State needs to be informed as well.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 23 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Each Member State shall record all relevant data on fishing opportunities as referred to in this Chapter, expressed both in terms of catches and fishing effort, and shall keep the originals of that data for a period of three years or longer in accordance with national rules.

1. Each Member State shall record all relevant data on fishing opportunities as referred to in this Chapter, expressed both in terms of catches, discards and fishing effort, and shall keep the originals of that data for a period of three years or longer in accordance with national rules. The data in electronic format shall be kept for a minimum of ten years.

Justification

Data on discards need to be collected and analysed. While the original (paper) records could be destroyed after three years, the data contained in them should be kept longer, for purposes of scientific research, which often relies on historical data.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 23 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. All catches of a stock or a group of stocks subject to quota made by Community fishing vessels shall be charged against the quota applicable to the flag Member State for the stock or group of stocks in question, irrespective of the place of landing.

3. All catches and discards of a stock or a group of stocks subject to quota made by Community fishing vessels shall be charged against the quota applicable to the flag Member State for the stock or group of stocks in question, irrespective of the place of landing.

Justification

Discards should be deducted from the national quota, as a means of providing incentives for more selective fishing to avoid catching them in the first place.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 26 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The decision referred to in paragraph 2 shall be made public by the Member State concerned and immediately communicated to the Commission and other Member States. It shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (C series). As from the date that the decision has been made public by the Member State concerned, Member States shall ensure that no retention on board, landings, cagings or transhipments of the relevant fish by vessels flying the flag of the Member State concerned take place in their waters and on their territory.

3. The decision referred to in paragraph 2 shall be made public by the Member State concerned and immediately communicated to the Commission which shall inform the other Member States. It shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (C series). As from the date that the decision has been made public by the Member State concerned, Member States shall verify, through the corresponding documentation, that no retention on board, landings, cagings or transhipments of the relevant fish caught, after the date of closure, by vessels flying the flag of the Member State concerned take place in their waters and on their territory.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 28 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. These deductions and the consequent allocations shall be made taking into account as a matter of priority the species and zones for which the fishing opportunities were fixed. They may be made during the year in which the prejudice occurred or in the succeeding year or years.

3. These deductions and the consequent allocations shall be made taking into account as a matter of priority the species and zones for which the fishing opportunities were fixed. They may be made during the year in which the prejudice occurred or in the succeeding year.

Justification

In view of the current crisis in the fishing industry, the prejudice should be remedied as quickly as possible.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 28 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 28a

Transfer of unused quotas

 

1. If all or part of the quotas for a Member State will not be used during the year in which they were granted, these quotas may be used, that same year, by other Member States. The Commission shall first of all inform the Member States concerned, asking them to confirm that they are not going to use these fishing opportunities. Following such confirmation, the Commission shall assess all the unused fishing opportunities and inform the Member States thereof, before taking the decision on their reallocation, in close cooperation with the Member States concerned.

 

2. The transmission of applications in accordance with this Article shall in no way affect the allocation of fishing opportunities or their exchange among Member States, in accordance with Article 20 of Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002.

 

3. Detailed rules for the application of this Article, and in particular those referring to the conditions for the use or transfer of quotas, shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 111.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 33

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 33

 

Transhipments in port

 

Community fishing vessels engaged in fishing activities in the fisheries subject to a multiannual plan shall not transfer their catches on board of any other vessel or vehicle without previously landing their catches in order to be weighed in an auction centre or other body authorised by Member States.

deleted

Justification

This article in practice makes it impossible to use a vehicle to transport catches from the vessel to an auction centre. For example, in addition, it means that vessels equipped with RSW tanks for example can no longer remove herring or mackerel from the tanks for processing purposes. To date, there has never been any doubt that the quantities landed can be fully monitored using this procedure. The reason for abruptly seeking to prohibit it is therefore unclear.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 34 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a. Member States may designate a port not meeting the criteria of paragraph 4 in order to avoid vessels having to sail for a distance greater than 50 miles to port.

Justification

There may be cases where no designated port is within a reasonable distance, so Member States should have some flexibility.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 37 – paragraph 2 – introductory wording

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In fisheries in which it is allowed to have more than two types of gear on board, the gear which is not used shall be stowed so that it may not readily be used in accordance with the following conditions:

2. In fisheries in which it is allowed to have more than one type of gear on board, the gear which is not used shall be stowed so that it may not readily be used in accordance with the following conditions:

Justification

This seems to be a mistake and is not in the current regulation. It seems logical to stow the unused gear even if there are only two.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 41 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The master of a fishing vessel shall record all discards above 15 kg of live weight equivalents in volume and shall communicate, where possible by electronic means, this information without delay to its competent authorities.

1. The master of a fishing vessel shall record all discards above 15 kg of live weight equivalents in volume per haul of gear and per trip, and shall communicate, where possible by electronic means, this information without delay to its competent authorities. The Commission shall consider a scheme to fit video-monitoring equipment for the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Regulation. Released fish in recreational fisheries shall not be considered to constitute discards or mortality for the purposes of this Regulation.

Justification

As far as "per trip" is concerned, this is necessary to define the time period during which the recording should take place.

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 42

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For vessels fitted with Vessel Monitoring System, Member States shall verify systematically that the information received at the Fisheries Monitoring Centre corresponds to activities recorded in the logbook by using Vessel Monitoring System data and where available to the data from observers. Such cross-checks shall be recorded in computer-readable format and kept for a period of three years.

For vessels fitted with Vessel Monitoring System, Member States shall verify systematically that the information received at the Fisheries Monitoring Centre corresponds to activities recorded in the logbook by using Vessel Monitoring System data and where available to the data from observers. Such cross-checks shall be recorded in computer-readable format and kept for a period of ten years.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Chapter IV – section 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Section 4

The whole of Section 4 is deleted.

Real time closure of fisheries

 

Justification

Closures are a technical measure which should be regulated under this Regulation, and not in the Control Regulation. In addition, the Committee on Fisheries has not yet decided on the characteristics of the closures, since the draft Report and corresponding amendments are still to be voted on and both texts should be consistent. Given this situation, is should be up to the Council and Commission to decide whether to introduce any measures referring to the control of closures in this future Regulation, after the final decision has been taken with respect to closures.

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 47 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Recreational fisheries on a vessel in Community waters on a stock subject to a multiannual plan shall be subject to an authorisation for that vessel issued by the flag Member State.

1. Recreational fisheries conducted from a vessel in Community marine waters on a stock subject to a multiannual recovery plan may be evaluated by the Member State in whose waters they are conducted. Fishing with rod and reel from shore shall not be included.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 47 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Catches in recreational fisheries on stocks subject to a multiannual plan shall be registered by the flag Member State.

2. Within two years of the date of entry into force of this Regulation, Member States may estimate the impact of recreational fisheries conducted in their waters and submit the information to the Commission. The relevant Member State and the Commission, on the basis of the advice of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries, shall decide which recreational fisheries are having a significant impact on such stocks. For those fisheries having a significant impact, the Member State concerned, in close cooperation with the Commission, shall develop a monitoring system that is able to accurately estimate the total recreational catches from each stock. Recreational fisheries shall comply with the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 47 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Catches of species subject to a multiannual plan by recreational fisheries shall be counted against the relevant quotas of the flag Member State. The Member States concerned shall establish a share from such quotas to be used exclusively for the purpose of recreational fisheries.

3. Where a recreational fishery is found to have a significant impact, catches shall be counted against the relevant quota of the flag Member State. The Member State may establish a share from such quota to be used exclusively for the purpose of that recreational fishery.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 48 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Where a minimum size has been fixed for a given species, operators responsible for selling, stocking or transporting must be able to prove the geographical origin of the products expressed by reference to a sub-area and division or sub-division, or where applicable statistical rectangle in which catch limits apply pursuant to Community legislation.

3. Operators responsible for selling, stocking or transporting must be able to prove the geographical origin of the products expressed to the same level of detail as under Article 14(1).

Justification

Many of the documents require different levels of detail concerning the area of capture. It is simplest to standardise this, at the level included in the logbook.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 2 d a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

da) the area of capture, to the same level of detail as under Article 14(1);

Justification

The proposal currently has several different forms of wording for how the geographical origin of the fish should be described in the various documents. This and other amendments seek to standardize it, for ease of application.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 54 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Registered buyers, registered auctions or other bodies or persons which are responsible for the first marketing of fishery products landed in a Member State, shall submit electronically, within 2 hours after the first sale, a sales note to the competent authorities of the Member State in whose territory the first sale takes place. If this Member State is not the flag State of the vessel that landed the fish, it shall ensure that a copy of the sales note is submitted to the competent authorities of the flag Member State upon receipt of the relevant information. The accuracy of the sales note shall be the responsibility of these buyers, auctions, bodies or persons.

1. Registered buyers, registered auctions or other bodies or persons which are responsible for the first marketing of fishery products landed in a Member State, shall submit electronically, within 6 hours after the first sale, a sales note to the competent authorities of the Member State in whose territory the first sale takes place. If this Member State is not the flag State of the vessel that landed the fish, it shall ensure that a copy of the sales note is submitted without delay to the competent authorities of the flag Member State upon receipt of the relevant information. The accuracy of the sales note shall be the responsibility of these buyers, auctions, bodies or persons.

Justification

Even though this information is transmitted electronically, after collection of the data stipulated by Article 14, two hours seems too short a time. It should be borne in mind that with these being vessels of over 10 meters in length that can transport a sizeable catch and Article 14 calling for very detailed information, too short a period may mean that subsequent corrections have to be made, thus complicating and duplicating administrative procedures that are already very difficult.

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 55 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

e) the relevant name or FAO alpha code of each species and its geographical origin expressed by reference to a sub-area and division or sub-division in which catch limits apply pursuant to Community legislation;

e) the relevant name or FAO alpha code of each species and its geographical origin expressed to the same level of detail as under Article 14(1);

Justification

The proposal currently has several different forms of wording for how the geographical origin of the fish should be described in the various documents. This and other amendments seek to standardize it, for ease of application.

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 55 – point e a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

ea) the quantity of each species in kilograms live weight;

Justification

The amount of fish would seem to be a useful piece of information in a sales note.

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 63 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. All costs arising from the operation of observers under this Article shall be borne by the flag Member States. Member States may charge those costs, in part or in full, to the operators of the vessels flying their flags involved in the relevant fishery.

6. All costs arising from the operation of observers under this Article shall be borne by the flag Member States and the Commission.

Justification

The Commission should cover the cost of observation programmes, given that it is making them compulsory in order to make the control system more effective.

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 69

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall set up and keep up to date an electronic database where they upload all inspection and surveillance reports drawn up by their officials.

Member States shall set up and keep up to date an electronic database where they upload all inspection and surveillance reports, including observer reports, drawn up by their officials.

Justification

There would appear to be no reason not to put observer reports on the database as well.

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 78

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The inspecting Member State may also transfer prosecution of the infringement to the competent authorities of the flag Member State or the Member State of registration or the Member State of which the offender is a citizen so long as this is done, with the agreement of the latter Member State and on condition that the transfer is more likely to achieve the result referred to in Article 81(2).

The inspecting Member State may also transfer prosecution of the infringement to the competent authorities of the flag Member State or the Member State of which the offender is a citizen so long as this is done, with the agreement of the latter Member State and on condition that the transfer is more likely to achieve the result referred to in Article 81(2).

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 82 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Member States shall ensure that a natural person having committed or a legal person held liable for a serious infringement is punishable by effective, proportionate and dissuasive administrative sanctions, in accordance with the range of sanctions and measures provided for in Chapter IX of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008.

1. Member States shall ensure that a natural person having committed or a legal person held liable for a serious infringement is in principle punished by effective, proportionate and dissuasive administrative sanctions, in accordance with the range of sanctions and measures provided for in Chapter IX of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008.

Justification

In order to create a level playing field, measures must be taken in all Member States, in accordance with their own legislation which have the same weight and the same impact, proportionality being a basic principle and not an option.

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 82 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. In case of a repeated serious infringement within a 5 year period, a Member State shall impose an administrative fine of a minimum of at least 10 000 EUR and a maximum of at least 600 000 EUR.

3. In case of a repeated serious infringement within a 5 year period, a Member State shall impose an administrative fine of a minimum of at least 10 000 EUR and a maximum of 600 000 EUR.

Justification

It is not logical to set a minimum figure for a maximum amount.

Amendment  61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 82 – paragraph 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

6a. Member States shall ensure that operators found liable for a serious infringement of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy are precluded from benefiting from the European Fisheries Fund, Fisheries Partnership Agreements and other public aid. The sanctions provided for in this Chapter shall be accompanied by other sanctions or measures, in particular the repayment of public assistance or subsidies received by IUU vessels during the financing period concerned.

Justification

According to article 45 paragraph 7 of Regulation 1005/2008 of the European Council where a temporary or permanent banning from benefitting of public or community aid is foreseen as a possible sanction to be applied, making public funding conditional upon compliance will provide an incentive for operators to comply with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy and will contribute to establishing a level playing field as well as ensuring that public aid is not supporting illegal activities. IUU vessels should not receive taxpayers' money and vessels that received taxpayers' money during the operational programme period should repay that money.

Amendment  62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 84 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Member States shall apply a penalty point system on the basis of which the holder of a fishing authorisation receives appropriate penalty points as a result of an infringement against the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy.

1. Member States shall apply a penalty point system on the basis of which the holder of a fishing authorisation receives appropriate penalty points as a result of a serious infringement against the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Justification

The penalty points should only apply to those infringements that have been agreed, at Council level, to be serious ones.

Amendment  63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 84 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. When a natural person has committed or a legal person is held liable for an infringement of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy, the appropriate number of points shall be assigned to the holder of the fishing authorisation as a result of the infringement. The holder of the fishing authorisation shall be entitled to review proceedings in accordance with national law.

2. When a natural person has committed or a legal person is held liable for a serious infringement of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy, the appropriate number of points shall be assigned to the holder of the fishing authorisation as a result of the serious infringement. The holder of the fishing authorisation shall be entitled to review proceedings in accordance with national law.

Justification

The penalty points should only apply to those infringements that have been agreed, at Council level, to be serious ones.

Amendment  64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 84 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. As long as a holder of a fishing authorisation has been assigned penalty points, that holder shall be precluded from receiving Community subsidies and national public aid during that time.

Justification

Vessels which have committed serious infractions against the CFP should not be eligible for public aid. Currently, the exclusion of vessel owners convicted of serious infringements from receiving Community aid, is so far only possible if it is provided for in the national legislation of a Member State. Removal from the list of eligible beneficiaries should be made mandatory so that taxpayer’s do not subsidise vessels and operators convicted of criminal activity.

Amendment  65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 84 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. In the event of a serious infringement, the penalty points assigned shall be at least, equal to half of the points referred to in paragraph 3.

deleted

Justification

The penalty points should only apply to those infringements that have been agreed, at Council level, to be serious ones. This paragraph thus becomes superfluous.

Amendment  66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 84 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. If the holder of a suspended fishing authorisation does not commit, within three years from the date of the last infringement, another infringement, all points on the fishing authorisation shall be deleted.

5. If the holder of a suspended fishing authorisation does not commit, within three years from the date of the last serious infringement, another serious infringement, all points on the fishing authorisation shall be deleted.

Justification

The penalty points should only apply to those infringements that have been agreed, at Council level, to be serious ones.

Amendment  67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 84 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7. Member States shall also establish a penalty point system under which the master and the officers of a vessel receive appropriate penalty points as a result of an infringement against the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy committed by them.

7. Member States shall also establish a penalty point system under which the master or the captain of a vessel receive appropriate penalty points as a result of an infringement against the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy committed by them.

Justification

It is absurd to penalise the officers of the vessel, in addition to the owner and captain or master, which entails no added benefits for the control policy. On the contrary, it may make it even more difficult to recruit crew members if they can be punished for decisions on catches for which they have virtually no responsibility. If such a situation were to arise, the vessel, owner and master would already be punished.

Amendment  68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 85 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Member States shall register in a national data base all infringements against rules of the Common Fisheries Policy, committed by vessels flying their flag or by their nationals, including the sanctions they incurred and the number of points assigned. Infringements of vessels flying their flag or by their nationals prosecuted in other Member States shall also be entered by Member States in their national data base on infringements, upon notification of the definitive ruling by the Member State having jurisdiction, pursuant to Article 82.

1. Member States shall register in a national data base all infringements against rules of the Common Fisheries Policy, committed by those responsible for vessels flying their flag or by their nationals, including the sanctions they incurred and the number of points assigned. Infringements of vessels flying their flag or by their nationals prosecuted in other Member States shall also be entered by Member States in their national data base on infringements, upon notification of the definitive ruling by the Member State having jurisdiction, pursuant to Article 82.

Justification

Infringements are not committed by the vessels themselves, but by those responsible for them. This obvious fact means that rigorous assessments should be made of the level of responsibility of the natural and legal persons concerned, in operational terms or as ship-owners or fishing licence holders. Vessels do not take decisions on their own; it is therefore ridiculous to penalise them as such. Infringement patterns may change radically with the arrival of a new captain or owner.

Amendment  69

Proposal for a regulation

Article 85 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Where a Member State requests information from another Member State in relation to the prosecution of an infringement, that other Member State shall provide the relevant information on the fishing vessels and persons in question.

3. Where a Member State requests information from another Member State in relation to the prosecution of an infringement, that other Member State shall provide the relevant information on the fishing vessels and persons in question without delay.

Justification

Rapid exchange of information is necessary if the "risk analysis" approach proposed by the Commission is to function properly.

Amendment  70

Proposal for a regulation

Article 85 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. Information on infringements committed and for which a conviction has been obtained by the fishing vessels and individuals in question will be available to the public via the public part of the website referred in Article 107.

Justification

Many Member States restrict detail and information on the extent and name of IUU fisheries in their water. Directive 31995L0046 (Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, O.J. L 281, 23/11/1995, p. 31-50) states in its whereas 34 that Member States must also be authorized, when justified by grounds of important public interest, to derogate from the prohibition on processing sensitive categories of data where important reasons of public interest so justify in areas such as public health and social protection […]scientific research and government statistics. In the context of frightening depletion and management of fish stock, data on serious infringements in the fishery sector shall be available to the public, because they concern public resources and therefore defined as important reasons of public interest.

Amendment  71

Proposal for a regulation

Article 91 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Officials of the Member State concerned shall be given the possibility to be present during the inspection and shall, at the request of the Commission officials, assist them to carry out their duties.

4. Officials of the Member State concerned shall always be present during the inspection and shall, at the request of the Commission officials, assist them to carry out their duties.

Amendment  72

Proposal for a regulation

Article 95 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

α) the provisions of this Regulation have not been complied with as a result of an action or omission directly attributable to the Member State concerned, and that

deleted

Justification

The suspension and cancellation of Community funding is a particularly harsh measure which will create multiple problems for the development and improvement of the fishing industry, with social, economic, environmental and structural implications. Implementation of such a measure should be considered only in circumstances which constitute a serious threat.

Amendment  73

Proposal for a regulation

Article 96 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Where a Member State does not respect its obligations for the implementation of a multiannual plan, and where the Commission has reasons to believe that the non respect of those obligations is particularly detrimental to the stock concerned, the Commission may provisionally close the fisheries affected by those shortcomings.

1. Where a Member State does not respect its obligations for the implementation of a multiannual plan, and where the Commission has evidence that the non respect of those obligations is particularly detrimental to the stock concerned, the Commission may provisionally close the fisheries affected by those shortcomings.

Justification

The Commission may have reasons to believe many things, but this is not an objective criterion. Something greater than a suspicion should be required to close a fishery.

Amendment  74

Proposal for a regulation

Article 97 – paragraph 1 – introductory wording

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. When the Commission has established that a Member State has overfished its quota, allocation or share of a stock or a group of stocks available to it the Commission shall operate deductions in the following year or years from the annual quota, allocation or share of the Member State which has overfished by applying a multiplying factor according to the following table:

1. When the Commission has established that a Member State has overfished its quota, allocation or share of a stock or a group of stocks available to it the Commission shall operate deductions in the following year from the annual quota, allocation or share of the Member State which has overfished by applying a multiplying factor according to the following table:

Justification

Up until now, Council Regulation (EC) No 847/96 only made provision for penalties from one year to the next by means of a Commission Regulation. Multiannual penalties for overfishing should be regulated by means of a Council Regulation.

Amendment  75

Proposal for a regulation

Article 97 – paragraph 1 – table

Text proposed by the Commission

Extent of overfishing relative to the permitted landings

Multiplying factor

Up to 5%

Overfishing * 1.0

Over 5% up to 10 %

Overfishing * 1.1

Over 10% up to 20%

Overfishing * 1.2

Over 20% up to 40%

Overfishing * 1.4

Over 40% up to 50%

Overfishing * 1.8

Any further overfishing greater than 50%

Overfishing * 2.0

Amendment

Extent of overfishing relative to the permitted landings

Multiplying factor

The first 10%

Deduction = Overfishing x 1,00

The next 10% up to 20% in total

Deduction = Overfishing x 1,10

The next 20% up to 40% in total

Deduction = Overfishing x 1,20

Any further overfishing greater than 40%

Deduction = Overfishing x 1,40

 

Note: The percentage intervals shall be replaced by the intervals set in Article 5(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 847/96 of 6 May 1996 introducing additional conditions for year-to-year management of TACs and quotas.

Justification

As regards the table of penalties, those expressed in percentages do not properly reflect the situation regarding quotas exceeded. This is the case in particular for deep-water species, where, for some Member States, the quotas are limited to small quantities that may even be less than 30-50 tonnes.

Amendment  76

Proposal for a regulation

Article 97 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. If the quota, allocation or share of a stock or a group of stocks allocated to a Member State does not exceed 100 tonnes, the reduction for exceeding the quota shall be applied in a linear manner and not by percentage, except for species covered by a multiannual plan to which paragraph 1 shall apply.

Justification

In the case of relatively low quotas for certain species, the overfishing may take place in a very small number of waters or be caused by very few vessels. The application of the percentage system envisaged in such cases may lead to the immediate closure of the fishery causing irreparable damage to the other vessels. A linear system would be much fairer in such instances.

Amendment  77

Proposal for a regulation

Article 97 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. If a Member State has repeatedly overfished its quota, allocation or share of the stock or group of stocks over the previous two years, if the overfishing is particularly detrimental to the stock concerned or if the stock is subject to a multiannual plan, the multiplying factor referred to in paragraph 1 shall be doubled.

2. If, over the previous two years, a Member State has repeatedly overfished its quota, allocation or share of a stock or group of stocks that is particularly sensitive to over-fishing or subject to a multiannual plan, the multiplying factor referred to in paragraph 1 shall be doubled.

Justification

Measures such as the doubling of penalty coefficients should be reserved for species that are at biological risk, are particularly sensitive to over-fishing or are included in a multiannual plan. It should be borne in mind that the quotas are not linked to the biological status of a fishery and that as a result of relative stability many Member States receive fishing quotas that they do not use, so another Member State exceeding its quota does not necessarily contribute to overfishing of the resource. It is, however, logical that exceeding the quota be punished, as already provided for in paragraph 1.

Amendment  78

Proposal for a regulation

Article 97 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. If a Member State takes catches from a stock subject to a quota for which it has no quota, allocation or share of a stock or a group of stocks available to it, the Commission may deduct in the following year or years quotas for other stocks or groups of stocks available to that Member State in accordance with paragraph 1.

deleted

Justification

The new measures introduced are not sufficiently well explained. It is not, for example, clear whether catches include discards, it is not specified to which other species the reduction shall apply, nor have criteria been established for carrying out the reduction over one or more years. Fishing without a quota is one of the most serious infringements that can be committed under the CFP and any Member State which allows this should be severely punished, including under Regulation 1005/2008, as this would be illegal fishing. It does not, however, make sense, to punish other innocent fleets from that same Member State. In justice, punishment should fall on the party that committed the offence and the party which permitted this, not on third parties.

Amendment  79

Proposal for a regulation

Article 98

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 98

deleted

Deduction of quotas for failure to comply with the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy

 

1. Where there is evidence that rules on conservation, control, inspection or enforcement under the Common Fisheries Policy are not being complied with by a Member State and that this may lead to a serious threat to the conservation of living aquatic resources or the effective operation of the Community control and enforcement system, the Commission may operate deductions from the annual quotas, allocations or shares of a stock or group of stocks available to that Member State.

 

2. The Commission shall inform in writing the Member State concerned of its findings and set a deadline of no more than 10 working days for the Member State to demonstrate that the fisheries can be safely exploited.

 

3. The measures referred to in paragraph 1 shall only apply if the Member State fails to respond to this request of the Commission within the deadline given in paragraph 2 or if the response is considered unsatisfactory or is clearly indicative of the fact that the necessary measures have not been implemented.

 

4. Detailed rules for the application of this article, and in particular for determining the quantities concerned, shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 111.

 

Justification

In justice, punishment should fall on the party that committed the offence and the party which permitted this, not on third parties. The Member State should be punished and there are various possibilities for doing so, one of which is within the framework of Article 95 of this Regulation. The Commission cannot, however, punish fishermen for their flag Member State's bad control practices, nor can it unilaterally alter the relative stability of a Member State. The possibility of reducing a Member State's quotas, on the Commission's initiative, if the Commission does not receive a response from that Member State or if the response is considered unsatisfactory, should only occur in well justified and substantiated cases, and be done through a Council Decision. The proposal does not properly justify the conditions for exercising this option, which creates a situation of great legal uncertainty.

Amendment  80

Proposal for a regulation

Article 100

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 100

deleted

Refusal of quota exchanges

 

The Commission may exclude the possibility to exchange quotas according to Article 20 paragraph 5 of Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002:

 

a) for quotas for which there was an overfishing of more than 10% of the quotas available to one of the Member State concerned in one of the immediately preceding two years or

 

b) if the Member State concerned does not take appropriate measures to ensure a proper management of the fishing opportunities of the stocks concerned, in particular by not operating a computerized validation system as referred to in Article 102 or by insufficiently operating the systems providing the data for this validation system.

 

Justification

The Commission cannot object to the exchange of quotas laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 on the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources under the Common Fisheries Policy. It is acknowledged that a Member State should be punished for exceeding quotas. However, over-fishing by 10% is a clear signal that the Member State does not have a sufficient quota, whilst another Member State has too large a quota given that it can exchange this. It does not, however, make sense to impose sanctions by banning the exchange of quotas, as this also penalises the second Member State. This matter should therefore be settled under Regulation 2371/2002, with rules being set at the same time to make it possible to benefit from under-used quotas.

Amendment  81

Proposal for a regulation

Article 101 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. If there is evidence, including based on the results of the sampling carried out by the Commission, that fishing activities and/or measures adopted by a Member State or Member States undermine the Common Fisheries Policy or threaten the marine eco-system and this requires immediate action, the Commission, at the substantiated request of any Member State or on its own initiative, may decide on emergency measures which shall last not more than one year. The Commission may take a new decision to extend the emergency measures for no more than six months.

1. If there is evidence, including based on the results of the sampling carried out by the Commission, that fishing activities and/or measures adopted by a Member State or Member States undermine the Common Fisheries Policy or threaten the marine eco-system and this requires immediate action, the Commission, at the substantiated request of any Member State or on its own initiative, may decide on emergency measures which shall last not more than six months. The Commission may take a new decision to extend the emergency measures for no more than six months.

Justification

Given the severity of the sanctions set out in paragraph 2 of this Article, a 1-year period seems excessive. Six months is enough time for the Member State at fault to be able to take the requisite corrective measures.

Amendment  82

Proposal for a regulation

Article 101 – paragraph 2 – point g

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

g) prohibition for fishing vessels flying the flag of the Member State concerned to fish in waters under the jurisdiction of other Member States;

g) prohibition for fishing vessels flying the flag of the Member State concerned to fish in waters under the jurisdiction of other Member States or of a third country, or on the high seas;

Justification

Prohibiting vessels from fishing in the waters of other Member States but allowing them to go outside the EU is discriminatory, as it would result in vessels from Member States that do not enforce the CFP being allowed, or encouraged, to fish outside the EU.

Amendment  83

Proposal for a regulation

Article 101 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. A Member State shall communicate the request referred to in paragraph 1 simultaneously to the Commission and to the Member States concerned. The other Member States may submit their written comments to the Commission within five working days of receipt of the request. The Commission shall take a decision within 15 working days of receipt of the request.

3. A Member State shall communicate the request referred to in paragraph 1 simultaneously to the Commission and to the Member States concerned. The other Member States may submit their written comments to the Commission within 15 working days of receipt of the request. The Commission shall take a decision within 15 working days of receipt of the request.

Justification

It does not appear appropriate that the Member State should only have five days in which to submit its comments when the Commission has 15 days in which to take its decision on the same matter.

Amendment  84

Proposal for a regulation

Article 101 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. The Member States concerned may refer the Commission decision to the Council within 10 working days of receipt of the notification.

5. The Member States concerned may refer the Commission decision to the Council within 15 working days of receipt of the notification.

Justification

As with Amendment 83, the aim is the closer alignment of the periods available to the administrative authorities and the various Community institutions.

Amendment  85

Proposal for a regulation

Article 104 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The names of natural persons shall not be communicated to the Commission or to another Member State except in the case where such communication is expressly provided for in this Regulation or if it is necessary for the purposes of preventing or pursuing infringements or the verification of apparent infringements. The data referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be transmitted unless they are aggregated with other data in a form, which does not permit the direct or indirect identification of natural persons.

2. Personal data shall not be communicated to the Commission or to another Member State except in the case where such communication is expressly provided for in this Regulation or if it is necessary for the purposes of preventing or pursuing infringements or the verification of apparent infringements. The data referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be transmitted unless they are aggregated with other data in a form, which does not permit the direct or indirect identification of natural persons.

Amendment  86

Proposal for a regulation

Article 105 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Member States and the Commission shall take all necessary steps to ensure that the data collected and received within the framework of this Regulation shall be treated in a confidential manner and shall respect all rules on professional and commercial secrecy of data.

1. Member States and the Commission shall take all necessary steps to ensure that the data collected and received within the framework of this Regulation shall be treated in a confidential manner and shall respect all rules on professional and commercial secrecy of data, consistent with all applicable provisions laid down in Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Directive 95/46/EC.

Amendment  87

Proposal for a regulation

Article 105 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Data communicated in the framework of this Regulation to persons working for competent authorities, courts, other public authorities and the Commission or the body designated by it, the disclosure of which would undermine:

deleted

a) the protection of the privacy and the integrity of the individual, in accordance with Community legislation regarding the protection of personal data,

 

b) the commercial interests of a natural or legal person, including intellectual property,

 

c) court proceedings and legal advice or

 

d) the scope of inspections or investigations,

 

shall be permitted only if it is necessary to bring about the cessation or prohibition of an infringement of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy and the authority communicating the information consents to its disclosure.

 

Justification

Amendment  88

Proposal for a regulation

Article 108 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. For the secure part of its website, each Member State shall provide remote access to the Commission and the body designated by it. The Member State shall grant access to Commission officials based on electronic certificates generated by the Commission or the body designated by it.

3. For the secure part of its website, each Member State shall provide remote access to the Commission and the body designated by it. The Member State shall grant access to Commission officials based on electronic certificates generated by the Commission or the body designated by it.

 

Third countries shall be provided with the information included in paragraphs 1(b), 1(d) and 1(f) for Community vessels that apply for licences to fish in their waters. The information shall be provided at the request of the third country concerned and without delay, on condition that the third country guarantees in writing the confidentiality of the information. The transfer of personal data under this provision shall be deemed to comply with Article 26(1)(d) of Directive 95/46/EC.

Justification

When EU vessels apply for authorisations to fish in third countries, under partnership agreements or private ones, the third country government should have the right to know certain types of information about those vessels, provided they agree on the confidentiality of the data.

Amendment  89

Proposal for a regulation

Article 112

Regulation (EC) No 768/2005

Article 17a – paragraph 1 – introductory wording

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Without prejudice to the enforcement powers conferred by the Treaty on the Commission, the Agency shall assist the Commission for the purpose of evaluating and controlling the application of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy by the Member States. The Agency may undertake inspections of public authorities and private operators in the Member States. For this purpose it may, in compliance with the legal provisions of the Member State concerned,

1. Without prejudice to the enforcement powers conferred by the Treaty on the Commission, the Agency shall assist the Commission for the purpose of evaluating and controlling the application of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy by the Member States. The Agency may, using its own resources, undertake inspections of public authorities and private operators in the Member States. For this purpose it may, in compliance with the legal provisions of the Member State concerned,

Justification

The Agency should, at a future date, have its own resources, such as well equipped vessels, in order to undertake the inspections which the Regulation empowers it to carry out.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Effective and non-discriminatory implementation of the rules must be one of the fundamental pillars of the Common Fisheries Policy. Respect for the rules and a coherent approach to control is the best way to protect the interests of the fishing sector in the long term. If those involved in fisheries, from the people on the boats to those who sell the fish to consumers, do not respect the rules, the Policy is doomed to fail. Fish stocks will disappear, along with those who depend upon them.

Both the Commission and the European Parliament have repeatedly regretted the poor level of compliance and called for better controls by Member States, harmonized inspection criteria and penalties, transparency of the results of inspections, strengthening the system of Community inspections, etc.(1)

The rules are agreed at the EU level but implementation and enforcement are the responsibility of the Member States, so there are several possible reasons for a failure to properly apply them. The first is juridical, in the sense that the control regulation and related instruments are insufficient, and do not provide the proper legal authority for inspectors to do their jobs. Another is political - do the Member States fulfil their legal obligations to fully implement the rules they have agreed to at Council and allocate sufficient resources to do so? Does the Commission properly verify what the Member States do? It should also be noted that the Commission has failed in its responsibilities as well, for the current regulation called for over 20 implementing regulations, of which the Commission has proposed only a very few since 1993.

The 2007 Special Report of the Court of Auditors(2) examined the question of implementation of one aspect of the CFP (the rules on conservation of resources) and concluded that serious problems existed:

125. In all, the Court's work has shown that, despite recent improvements, the control, inspection and sanction mechanisms in place are not capable of ensuring that the rules on managing the fisheries resources, and the TAC and quota system in particular, are effectively applied.

The Court made a great many recommendations to improve the situation and the Commission made an equal number of promises to deal with the problem in the recast of the control regulation. The proposal for such a regulation is the subject of the present report.

The new regulation is to be the final of three regulations that will constitute the control system, after the adoption of the IUU regulation(3) and the regulation on fishing authorisations(4). It is essential that the measures included in the proposal not only incorporate all the necessary aspects of the existing control regulation and the recommendations of the Court of Auditors, but also that they are coherent with the provisions of these two other regulations.

Probably the most important quality of a control system that applies to 27 Member States is that everybody be treated equally, that all those involved in the chain of production - fishermen, processers, buyers and others - feel that they are not discriminated against and carry their share of responsibility. The so-called "level playing field" must be created across the entire Community and along the entire chain of custody. The proposal includes a number of aspects that would move quite some distance in this direction, which should be welcomed. The Community Fisheries Control Agency has a particularly important role to play in this regard, given its Community nature and mandate for impartiality.

As a general remark, since the control regime in the EU is becoming more complex, the Commission must ensure that all of the rules are practical, applicable and efficient. A series of "test cases" should be examined using concrete case studies based on actual examples of control situations to test the efficacy of the proposed measures. This should be done before the control regulation is adopted by Council and should guide the Commission when it proposes the implementing regulations that all three parts of the control system require. Such an exercise could highlight potential difficulties and help resolve them before these pieces of legislation are adopted.

Much of the proposal comprises measures that have been in the regulation for years, but certain new elements merit consideration.

Recreational Fishing - This has exploded in the media and dominates all discussion on the proposal. What the Commission is proposing is not clear from the text. What is clear is that, in certain instances, recreational fisheries can be large and have significant impact on fish stocks. For example, according to data from the Member States, French sport fishermen catch 5.000 mt of sea bass, German recreational catches amount to up to 5.200 mt of cod in the Baltic Sea. Recreational catches of bluefin tuna are so serious that the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) has adopted management measures to control them. Is it fair to commercial fishermen to continue to allow recreational fishermen to fish with no controls whatsoever? An amendment is proposed here that would limit the scope of the regulation to non-commercial fishing conducted from boats (i.e. not from shore) in marine waters (i.e. not inland waters). Member States would have time to evaluate the impact of such fishing on stocks and, in cases where it is having a significant impact, to propose a means of monitoring it. Since it is discriminatory to subject commercial fishermen to catch limitations and other restrictions but to allow non-commercial fishermen to fish without limit, all catches should ultimately come under the national quota.

Community Fisheries Control Agency - The Agency has only been operational for a few years but it has already proven its value in improving coordination of controls at sea among Member States during several Joint Deployment Programmes. The Commission proposes increasing the role of the Agency in various areas, such as developing core curricula for training programmes, assisting to develop common inspection procedures, improving communication and information exchange among Member States, etc. The Agency has a crucial role to play in reducing and, hopefully, eliminating the conviction on the part of many that they are controlled more strictly than their neighbours. The Agency's expanded mandate is an important component of an improved control system. The Attwooll report of 2005(5) welcomed the Agency when it was created and even then, urged that it be given a stronger role.

Risk Analysis - An important recommendation from the Court of Auditors was that Member States establish "a control strategy based on a risk analysis", to be included in the control regulation(6). The Court considered that

75. Sound knowledge of the various fishery activities, the actors involved, infringements found and penalties imposed in the past is essential for the establishment of sound risk analysis, the definition of a suitable control strategy and the preparation of a relevant programme.

A risk analysis approach to planning would identify inspection priorities and aid the allocation of resources, making control activities more effective. The Commission took this recommendation on board and has included a number of measures that would provide Member States with the necessary structures, including databases on catches, inspections and other information, procedures for data verification, etc.

Certain of these could be shared among the Member States, in order to promote the fluid exchange of information that would help them establish a common basis for their risk analysis. The extent to which information on matters such as infractions under investigation is exchanged merits careful consideration, in order to ensure confidentiality and the right to privacy. In a common policy such as fisheries, though, where vessels are free to fish throughout the waters of the Community, Member States have a clear need for access to relevant information in order to make their control programmes as effective and efficient as possible. The Agency could have a role in structuring and organizing such information analysis and exchange, including the question of how long such information should be available.

Costs and Administrative Burden - Many Member States are worried that the proposal would increase the costs of their control programmes and require them to set up complicated new administrative systems. According to data from the Commission, an inspection at sea costs over ten times as much as those on land (€7.552 at sea, €306 on land, €541 in the marketplace). These data point out the necessity of optimal targeting of controls. Inspections at sea must remain a fundamental aspect of the control system, for going to sea is the only way to verify what is happening there. Use of a risk analysis approach, though, as included in the proposal, would allow Member States to reduce their at-sea inspections while making them better targeted and more effective. The proposal includes many modern technologies that allow significant reductions of cost, such as electronic systems that allow rapid and easy cross-verification of data, avoiding the need for manual comparisons.

Inspections at Sea - The proposal expands the ability of Member States to conduct inspections in each others' waters. Such mutual inspection procedures already exist in some Regional Fisheries Management Organisations of which the Community is a member. The capacity of the Commission to carry out its own investigations would also increase. For reasons once again of the need to eliminate the perception of discrimination and to create the "level playing field", this is a long overdue proposal. If fishing fleets can move throughout Community waters, then inspection vessels should have the same ability. One amendment made here concerns "hot pursuit". The proposal says that if an inspection vessel from one Member State is in hot pursuit of a vessel that goes into the waters of another Member State, then it must request the coastal Member State for permission to carry out an inspection. Since this rather defeats the purpose of "hot pursuit", it is proposed that the inspecting Member State inform the coastal Member State before entering its waters.

Sanctions - The Commission is again trying to harmonise sanctions for serious infringements. This idea has been discussed before, in the context of the Aubert report on the IUU regulation(7). At that time, Parliament agreed with the Commission that there was a need to harmonise the maximum administrative sanctions. This time the Commission is proposing both minimum (at least €5.000) and maximum levels (at least €300.000) for administrative sanctions.

There is also an innovative idea for a system of "penalty points" that would be distributed for vessels and captains that commit infringements. If infringements are repeated, more points are given, and there would be a threshold at which enough points would cause the temporary suspension or cancellation of the fishing authorisation. If no further infringements are committed, the points would disappear after a certain time. This system could be of considerable help in getting Member States to deal with infractions in a more coherent way, part of the "level playing field". An amendment is added to include ship-owners, since they are the ones who are ultimately responsible for what a vessel does.

Conclusions - The proposal of the Commission is an important step along the road to developing a "culture of compliance" in the EU and reducing the belief among many that they are strictly controlled while their neighbours are free to do as they wish. All those concerned by the CFP should feel the system is fair, and a non-discriminatory control system is essential for ensuring that the fishing industry has a long term future.

(1)

  For instance see the EP resolutions of 06.09.2006 (A6-0228/2006, Morillon), of 23.10.2003 (A5-0331/2003, Figueiredo), of 04.07.2002 (A5-0228/2002,Attwooll), of 17.01.2002 (A5-0470/2001, Miguelez Ramos) and of 06.11.1997 (A4-0298/1997, Fraga Estevez).

(2)

  Special Report 7/2007 on the control, inspection and sanction systems relating to the rules on conservation of Community fisheries resources.

(3)

  Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

(4)

  Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 of 29 September 2008 concerning authorisations for fishing activities of Community fishing vessels outside Community waters and the access of third country vessels to Community waters.

(5)

  Attwooll report A6-0022/2005 on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a Community Fisheries Control Agency, EP resolution of 23.02.2005.

(6)

  See Court of Auditors Special Report 7/2007, paragraphs 129 and 130.

(7)

  Aubert report A6-0193/2008 on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.


MINORITY OPINION

pursuant to Rule 48(3) of the Rules of Procedure

Hélène Goudin

The Commission's proposal, which has now also been adopted by the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries, aims to legislate on recreational fisheries at Community level. This aim is reflected in Article 47 of the Commission's proposal. I tabled an amendment in committee proposing that Article 47 should be deleted in its entirety. My amendment was not adopted by the committee and I, therefore, voted against the report.

Recreational and sports fisheries are under no circumstances a matter to be taken up at EU level. It is instead a matter on which decisions should be left to national, regional and local authorities, in accordance with the subsidiarity principle.


OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (18.2.2009)

for the Committee on Fisheries

on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy

(COM(2008)0721 – C6-0510/2008 – 2008/0216(CNS))

Rapporteur: Roberto Musacchio

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

One of the main goals of the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to establish conservation measures to ensure fish stocks being exploited on an environmentally sustainable basis. Yet, as the current state of fish stocks in EU waters demonstrates, the levels of exploitation have been too high. Thirty percent of the assessed stocks are now outside safe biological limits, and 88% are fished so intensely that the yield is reduced. Scientists warn that the quantity of mature fish is below what is necessary for the long-term sustainability of commercially exploited stocks, jeopardising both the long term sustainability of fishing activities and the marine ecosystem balance.

One of the reasons of the perceived failure of CFP is that Member States have not properly controlled how much fish is taken out of the sea each year, and no effective monitor system was put in place concerning the transhipment of fish stocks. Moreover, the level of sanctions in the EU is generally so low that they do not deter people from illegal fishing practices. This allows the fishing industry to consider the sanctions imposed as a mere running cost of their operations, thereby removing any real incentive to comply with the CFP provisions. Infringements of the applicable rules should lead to dissuasive sanctions. However, Member States with effective control systems could be given preferential access to community resources and the EC should establish appropriate financial incentives on the basis of a reward system.

If the CFP main objective is to achieve the sustainable use of the fisheries resources, then the present control, inspection and sanction systems must be strengthened considerably. The ultimate goal of control and enforcement is to ensure that the fisheries activities are truly sustainable and that operators do not damage the marine ecosystems through overfishing. Without effective controls it is impossible to have reliable figures for catches and landings. Collecting accurate data is crucial for the assessment of scientific advice on how many fish can safely be caught in the future and thereby ensuring the health of our marine living resources and a sustainable and economic viable livelihood for those fishing communities which would otherwise have few alternatives to sustain themselves.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(18a) The Commission should propose binding legislative measures in 2010 for the reduction of EU fishing capacity.

Justification

One of the main drivers of the ongoing overfishing is the vast overcapacity of the European fleet. In fact, the most recent estimation by the Commission suggested that there is more than 40% overcapacity in the fleet. Until effective capacity reduction programmes are implemented, no control system, however strict, will succeed in eliminating fraud. It is therefore imperative that the European Commission should address the problem of excess fishing capacity to MS as a prerequisite to establishing an effective control system.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. A fishing vessel exceeding 10 meters length overall shall have installed on board a fully functioning device which allows that vessel to be automatically located and identified through the Vessel Monitoring System by transmitting position data at regular intervals. It shall also allow the Fisheries Monitoring Centre of the flag Member State to poll the fishing vessel. For vessels exceeding 10 meters length and up to 15 meters length overall this paragraph shall apply as from 1 January 2012.

2. A fishing vessel exceeding 10 meters length overall shall have installed on board a fully functioning device which allows that vessel to be automatically located and identified through the Vessel Monitoring System by transmitting position data at regular intervals. It shall also allow the Fisheries Monitoring Centre of the flag Member State to poll the fishing vessel. For vessels exceeding 10 meters length and up to 15 meters length overall this paragraph shall apply as from 1 January 2010.

Justification

This obligation should be consistent with the entry into force on Ist January 2010 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29.9.2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, mainly on provisions of Article 3 paragraph b, c and k , where registration, capture data and monitoring of fishing activities in restricted areas should be assessed by satellite control.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Paragraph 1 shall apply to Community fishing vessels exceeding 15 meters length and up to 24 meters length overall as from 1 July 2011, and to Community fishing vessels exceeding 10 meters length and up to 15 meters length overall as from 1 January 2012. Community vessels up to 15 meters length overall may be exempted from paragraph 1 if they:

2. Paragraph 1 shall apply to Community fishing vessels exceeding 10 meters length overall as from 1 January 2010. Community vessels up to 15 meters length overall may be exempted from paragraph 1 if they:

Justification

This obligation should be consistent with the entry into force on 1st January 2010 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29.9.2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, mainly on provisions of Article 3 paragraph b where registration and capture data should be available and transmitted by satellite device.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 4 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Paragraph 2 shall apply to Community fishing vessels exceeding 15 meters length and up to 24 meters length overall as from 1 July 2011, and to Community fishing vessels exceeding 10 meters length and up to 15 meters length overall as from 1 January 2012. Community vessels up to 15 meters length overall may be exempted from the application of paragraph 2 if they:

4. Paragraph 2 shall apply to Community fishing vessels exceeding 10 meters length overall as from 1 January 2010. Community vessels up to 15 meters length overall may be exempted from the application of paragraph 2 if they:

Justification

In consistency with the entry into force on January 2010 the 1st of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29.9.2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and with provisions of the present Regulation regarding Article 9 and 15 on the obligation in transmitting data of the fishing capture.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Article 82 – paragraph 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

6a. Member States shall ensure that operators found guilty of seriously infringing the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy are excluded from benefitting from the European Fisheries Fund, Fisheries Partnership Agreements or other public aid. The sanctions provided for in this Chapter shall be accompanied by other sanctions or measures, in particular the repayment of public assistance or subsidies received by IUU vessels during the financing period.

Justification

According to article 45 paragraph 7 of Regulation 1005/2008 of the European Council where a temporary or permanent banning from benefitting of public or community aid is foreseen as a possible sanction to be applied, making public funding conditional upon compliance will provide an incentive for operators to comply with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy and will contribute to establishing a level playing field as well as ensuring that public aid is not supporting illegal activities. IUU vessels should not receive taxpayers' money and vessels that received taxpayers' money during the operational programme period should repay that money.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Article 85 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. Information on the fishing vessels and persons in question shall be made available to the public.

Justification

Many Member States restrict detail and information on the extent and name of IUU fisheries in their waters.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 87 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. The Commission shall establish performance indicators and financial incentives as the basis for a reward system for those Member States which fully comply with rules on conservation, control and enforcement under the Common Fisheries Policy.

Justification

Measures could be provided to reward those Member States with effective control systems by providing them with preferential access to resources. Community financial contribution directed to Member States’ fisheries control programmes could be used to reward Member States with effective control systems.

PROCEDURE

Title

Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy

References

COM(2008)0721 – C6-0510/2008 – 2008/0216(CNS)

Committee responsible

PECH

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

ENVI

18.12.2008

 

 

 

Drafts(wo)man

       Date appointed

Roberto Musacchio

10.12.2008

 

 

Discussed in committee

22.1.2009

 

 

 

Date adopted

17.2.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

45

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Adamos Adamou, Margrete Auken, Liam Aylward, Irena Belohorská, Maria Berger, John Bowis, Hiltrud Breyer, Martin Callanan, Dorette Corbey, Magor Imre Csibi, Avril Doyle, Mojca Drčar Murko, Jill Evans, Elisabetta Gardini, Matthias Groote, Satu Hassi, Christa Klaß, Holger Krahmer, Urszula Krupa, Peter Liese, Marios Matsakis, Linda McAvan, Roberto Musacchio, Miroslav Ouzký, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Vittorio Prodi, Frédérique Ries, Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Guido Sacconi, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Richard Seeber, María Sornosa Martínez, Salvatore Tatarella, Thomas Ulmer, Anja Weisgerber, Åsa Westlund, Anders Wijkman, Glenis Willmott

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Kathalijne Maria Buitenweg, Philip Bushill-Matthews, Christofer Fjellner, Jutta Haug, Johannes Lebech, Caroline Lucas, Hartmut Nassauer, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Alojz Peterle, Lambert van Nistelrooij


PROCEDURE

Title

Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy

References

COM(2008)0721 – C6-0510/2008 – 2008/0216(CNS)

Date of consulting Parliament

15.12.2008

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

PECH

18.12.2008

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

ENVI

18.12.2008

 

 

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Raül Romeva i Rueda

10.11.2008

 

 

Date adopted

31.3.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

5

1

Members present for the final vote

Stavros Arnaoutakis, Elspeth Attwooll, Iles Braghetto, Niels Busk, Paulo Casaca, Zdzisław Kazimierz Chmielewski, Avril Doyle, Emanuel Jardim Fernandes, Carmen Fraga Estévez, Ioannis Gklavakis, Hélène Goudin, Pedro Guerreiro, Daniel Hannan, Ian Hudghton, Heinz Kindermann, Rosa Miguélez Ramos, Philippe Morillon, Ulrike Rodust, Struan Stevenson, Catherine Stihler, Margie Sudre, Cornelis Visser

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Ole Christensen, Constantin Dumitriu, Nigel Farage, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Thomas Wise

Date tabled

6.4.2009

Last updated: 9 April 2009Legal notice