Europêche is broadly in support of amendments to new rules governing fishing in the bloc Photo: EuropêcheEuropêche is broadly in support of amendments to new rules governing fishing in the bloc Photo: Europêche

The European Parliament Committee on Fisheries has voted on more than a thousand amendments to a new set of rules designed to revise the Union Fisheries Control System.

The European Parliament has enhanced traceability of seafood products, digitised tracking and catch reporting across the value chain and harmonised sanctions and enforcement measures across member states.

The fishing sector welcomed the news with some caveats, with Europêche keen to see the agreement upheld in the upcoming Parliamentary Plenary session.

Europêche welcomes the proposal to introduce CCTV on board fishing vessels but managing director, Daniel Voces, urges caution, arguing that ‘intrusive technologies clash with business confidentiality, privacy and workers’ rights’ and that the introduction ‘must be done step by step, with incentives and close cooperation’.

Europêche also supports limiting the mandatory monitoring of engine power to vessels that operate in areas subject to such restrictions, stating ‘in fisheries subject to catch limits, the size or power of the boat does not matter, it will always be limited by the allocated quota’.

Europêche regrets that a 50kg threshold for recording catches has been removed, arguing it will increase bureaucracy and working hours, but welcomes the introduction of higher margins of tolerance for mixed, small two pelagic and industrial fisheries, for species that do not exceed 100kg and for tuna species.

“Our fishermen do not need more red-tape but clear and efficient rules uniformly applied across the EU to guarantee equal treatment, reduce costs and make their life easier,” concluded Mr Voces.

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