Member States Discuss New Fishing Authorisation Proposal

15 February 2016, at 12:00am

EU - In Brussels today Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella will be presenting to the agriculture and fisheries sections of the Council of the European Union a Commission's proposal on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets. The presentation will be followed by an exchange of views with the Ministers.

The proposed Regulation sets up a new system to grant and manage fishing authorisations, allowing authorities to better monitor both EU vessels fishing outside Union waters and international vessels fishing in our own waters. It descends from the new Common Fisheries Policy, which clearly states that our fishers must follow the same rules and standards regardless of whether they are fishing inside or outside the EU. The Regulation will apply to all EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, wherever they operate and irrespective of the legal framework under which the fishing takes place.

To obtain a fishing authorisation, vessels will have to show that they comply with a set of criteria that the EU considers essential – for instance that they have an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number and a valid fishing license, and have not been found guilty of infringements.

Monitoring the activities of the EU fishing fleet, wherever they are, is crucial to promote sustainable fishing and combat illegal operations.

By improving control on EU vessels, the proposed Regulation will contribute to the fight against illegal fishing and set a new international standard for management and control of external fleets – thus contributing to better global fisheries governance.