Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a serious threat to fisheries sustainability in EU fisheries, and worldwide.
The European Council recently adopted a regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing and the European Commission proposes a reform to the EU's Control and Enforcement regime.
Inevitably, a number of measures to combat IUU fishing will have costs. It is important, therefore, to recognise the main costs that are caused by IUU activity today and which will affect the future of European fish stocks and fishing industries.
This report makes a preliminary investigation into the level of the economic, social and environmental costs of IUU fishing at the wide scale of EU fisheries and Member States.
To eliminate these costs, the Pew Environment Group calls on the European Institutions and Member States to strengthen the EU control system by introducing:
- Meaningful sanctions for non-compliance
- Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) on all fishing vessels regardless of their length.
- Independent observers and/or cameras onboard for specific fisheries with a consistent record of infringements, such as bluefin tuna.
- Central computerised repositories for all information relating to fisheries offences and their perpetrators.
- Suspension of Community aid to the fisheries sector, including the granting of fishing rights under Fisheries Partnership Agreements, if a Member State fails to respect its control obligations.
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