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EU Fisheries Control Regulation

Greens hail tighter compliance controls on EU Common Fisheries Policy

Today the Council of EU fisheries ministers approved the revision of the Control Regulation, designed to ensure compliance with the rules of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Green MEP Raül Romeva, who was the European Parliament's rapporteur for the Regulation (1), commented:

"I welcome these crucial and long overdue improvements on fisheries control, which go very much in the direction that Parliament wanted and that had first been called for by the EU Court of Auditors. (2)

Several key provisions have been secured. Community inspectors will have a strengthened role to ensure that Member States are working effectively. The Commission will be empowered to withhold structural funds from Member States that do not apply CFP rules. At last there will be improved traceability, which will cut fraud between vessel and market and improve information for consumers.

These new measures will tighten the net on fisheries abuses, but I regret that further effective provisions were allowed to slip away. The Fisheries Council did not agree on harmonised fines for illegal activities, which means fishermen from different countries will continue to be treated inconsistently. Furthermore, the Regulation allows up to a 10% margin over catch limits, which is essentially a form of legalised cheating."

Notes to editors:

(1) Raül Romeva's report followed the earlier report on illegal fishing (Regulation 1008/2008), which also had a Green rapporteur (Marie-Helene Aubert) in the European Parliament.

(2) Court of Auditors Special Report 7/2007 on the control, inspection and sanction systems relating to the rules on conservation of Community fisheries resources

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