MEPs support further control of fleet operating outside the EU
2016-12-07 17:01:36   copyfrom:    hits:

Oceana campaign director in Europe Maria Jose Cornax (Photo: Oceana)EUROPEAN UNIONWednesday, December 07, 2016,01:00

Oceana campaign director in Europe Maria Jose Cornax. (Photo: Oceana)


Wednesday, December 07, 2016, 01:00 (GMT + 9)


The European Parliament's Fisheries Committee on Monday approved the European Commission's proposal to regulate the activities of the EU fleet operating outside European Union waters.

MEPs have recognized the need to take steps towards greater transparency and sustainability of fisheries. One of the measures proposed is the creation of the first public register on fleet activities in third countries, international waters and Regional Fisheries Organizations (RFOs).

Several environmental organizations welcomed the decision taken by the Committee on Fisheries of the European Parliament.

Oceana, in particular, congratulates MEPs on their support for the creation of the first public database of fishing authorizations (including IMO numbers, owners and potential catches).

"The European Parliament has today taken a significant step towards raising standards and providing pioneering rules for fishing activities outside EU waters, which accounts for 28 per cent of total EU catches. The vote of the Committee on Fisheries is a great step forward in making the European fleet to consolidate as an international model of transparency, accountability and sustainability," explains Maria Jose Cornax, Campaign Director for Oceana in Europe.

The members of the Fisheries Commission also decided to raise the standards of all individual agreements signed between EU companies and third countries, which until now have developed without EU control and without following their rules.

In addition, they voted in favour of ending the "abusive re-flagging", whereby a European Union vessel quickly and repeatedly leaves the European flag to adopt the flag of a non-EU country and then returns to the EU fleet register.

Oceana regrets, however, that the negotiations have rejected major issues, such as granting fishing authorizations only to EU vessels with a track record of clean compliance so that access to waters outside the EU will be permitted to vessels that have committed serious infringements.

In this sense, the conservationist organization expressed its trust that the European Parliament can reconsider including this condition in the future regulation when the plenary of the Parliament casts its vote, at the beginning of next year.

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