EU Moves to Toughen Fishing Controls, Penalties


11/14/2008 - European fishermen could face tough controls on their catches and heavier penalties for any infractions under new rules proposed Friday by the European Commission.

The proposals, already welcomed by environmental groups, would establish a new legal framework for the control and enforcement of the EU's 15-year-old fishing policies, with fish stocks in Europe increasingly under threat.

"The future of sustainable fisheries requires us to replace a system which is inefficient, expensive and complex with one which can really produce results," said EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg.

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The Pew Environment Group said: "We welcome the proposal to strengthen control of fisheries on land, but are concerned that this is no substitute for efficient controls at sea, which is essential to ensure that infringements and illegal fishing are detected."

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