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Council Adopts Actions Against Unsustainable Fishing

Sustainability Economics Politics +2 more

EU - The European Council has adopted a regulation on certain measures in relation to countries allowing non-sustainable fishing for the purpose of conservation of fish stocks following a first reading agreement with the European Parliament.

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The German and Danish delegations abstained. This regulation provides a framework allowing the EU to take measures for protecting fish stocks against third countries engaged in unsustainable practices in the management of fish resources they share with the EU.

The text was voted by the Parliament at its plenary session this month and should be applicable once it has been formally signed and published in the Official Journal.

The mechanism proposed by this regulation will:

  • Empower the Commission to adopt these measures;
  • Ensure that the measures proposed are proportionate;
  • Guarantee the respect of international law;
  • Allow the third countries concerned to be heard and to have an opportunity to rectify their action;
  • Provide for a rapid termination of the measures wherever appropriate corrective actions have been adopted.

Under this regulation, various trade measures could be adopted such as:

  • Quantitative restrictions on the importations of fish into the EU including the stock of common interest and associated species;
  • Restrictions on the use of EU ports by vessels flying the flag of the target country that fish the stock of common interest and/or associated species;
  • Restrictions on the use of EU ports by vessels transporting fish and fishery products stemming from the stock of common interest and/or associated species that have been caught either by vessels flying the flag of the third country or vessels authorised by it.
  • Other restrictions aiming to avoid that Union fishing vessels or equipment are used for fishing the stock of common interest under the control of the country allowing nonsustainable fishing. This instrument could allow to tackle situations like the one which is currently threatening the stock of North-east Atlantic mackerel.