Revising the fisheries control system

Briefing 04-03-2021

During the March I part-session, Parliament is expected to vote on the European Commission's proposal to revise the fisheries control system, centred on the amendment of the Control Regulation 1224/2009. The Committee on Fisheries has adopted a report that supports the proposal on major aspects, such as tracking of all EU fishing vessels, reporting of all catches, monitoring of recreational fisheries and improving traceability along the supply chain for all fishery and aquaculture products, whether from EU fisheries or imported. The report also backs the proposal on harmonising sanctions for infringements of fisheries rules across the EU, and requires the creation of a 'Union register' of infringements centralising Member States' information. In the same line of harmonised control, the report introduces uniform formats throughout the EU for a wide range of documents. The PECH report departs from the proposal as regards the mandatory use of on-board CCTV cameras to control the landing obligation, only allowing it on a voluntary basis (if associated with incentives such as quota increases), or as an accompanying sanction for vessels that commit repeated infringements. The report amends the proposal to exempt vessels under 10 m in length from the obligation to keep electronic logbooks, and to introduce derogations to the weighing of fishery products upon landing. It increases the margin of tolerance in estimates recorded in the fishing logbook, in particular for small pelagic and tuna species. It also limits the continuous monitoring of the engine power to vessels exceeding 221 kilowatts that operate under fishing effort regimes.