Europêche and the EU IUU Coalition have urged EU decision makers to enable a robust EU fisheries control system that ensures seafood products sold in the EU are sustainably sourced, fully traceable and properly monitored by Member States.
As the revision of the EU fisheries control system continues, the organisations have called on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and EU fisheries Ministers to resolve the shortcomings.
The EU IUU Coalition said: “It is critical that the revision of the fisheries Control Regulation ensures the sustainability objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy are met. The revised rules must strengthen compliance, modernise data management, intensify the fight against illegal fish products and guarantee a level playing field for all stakeholders in the EU.”
Europêche and the EU IUU Coalition point out the current lack of harmonised sanctions for infringements, insufficient data exchange, ambiguity of legal provisions, and disparities in the level of scrutiny in the implementation of control measures and traceability across Member States are creating a complex and uneven playing field for operators, leaving the system open for abuse. These issues highlight the need for simplification and harmonisation, they said.
The organisations call on EU decision makers to enhance and digitise traceability of seafood products, simplify and better align control measures, require additional information for imported fisheries products, require tracking and electronic catch reporting for small-scale fishing vessels (taking into account the specifications of the fishery), and provide more public information on the implementation of enforcement measures by Member States.