Preliminary Comments on Proposal for a Community Control System to Comply with the Common Fisheries Policy

The Pew Environment Group generally welcomes the Commission's proposal as it includes major improvements on existing measures as well as additional tools to enhance compliance with the CFP, by both Member States and various actors in the fisheries sector along the chain of production.

The dismal state of fish stocks in European waters and elsewhere, combined with a situation of overcapacity in many fisheries, has resulted in an increasing number of infringements, more or less tolerated by flag Member States, combined with a marked tendency for lower and lower sanctions.

The sad case of the bluefin tuna fishery in the Mediterranean and the failure of control measures until now, illustrate very clearly why the new control measures proposed by the Commission are badly needed. Avoiding stricter measures will only hasten the demise of both fish stocks and those depending on them.

The Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (ACFA), the formal stakeholder consultation body to the Commission on fisheries issues, noted in its submission on the reform of the control system that: “The strengthening of the rules is essential. The reinforcement of the Commission's possibilities to ensure the application of the decisions taken by the Council should be encouraged”.

The proposal for a revised Community control system is meant to complement two other Council Regulations, the so-called IUU fishing Regulation and the Council Regulation on fishing authorisations; together these will then form the three pillars of the European Union (EU) control system.

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