Control of fishing activities: Renew Europe welcomes regulations that promote sustainable fishing and traceable seafood

Author: Yannick Laude



A new page opens for Blue Europe with the adoption today, in plenary session of the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg, of new regulations which strengthen and modernize the control of fishing activities in European waters and internationally, with a view to improving the traceability of fisheries and aquaculture products and better preserving marine biodiversity. This vote closes a legislative procedure which lasted more than 5 years. The shadow rapporteur of our group played an active and constant role in this success.

Izaskun BILBAO BARANDICA (PNV, Spain), spokesperson for this file for Renew Europe within the Parliamentary Committee on Fisheries (PECH), said: “This control regulation is the result of a long negotiation process focused on strengthening the guarantees that fishers justly deserve and consumers need. The measures established which also encourage the digitalisation of the sector, help professionals to consolidate the socially, environmentally and economically sustainable practices that characterise the activity of European fleets. They also provide consumers with more comprehensive and reliable information on the origin and practices used to obtain the products that reach the market. In this way, the former are shielded from insidious campaigns and the latter can reward the most sustainable productions with their choice, through their purchasing power.”

In the long legislative process of this crucial text for the future of sustainable fishing, Renew Europe has always maintained two priorities: the guarantee for the consumer of healthy seafood products fished under fair conditions and improved control in order to fully implement the common fisheries policy and achieve better management of fisheries resources. These measures must put an end to the controversies over overfishing of which European fishermen are too often wrongly accused.

Thus, each professional fishing vessel must, within 5 years, keep a digital logbook listing the daily catches of the different species of fish subject to quota. In addition, ship-owners will have to work on the gradual implementation of the Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS), which will cover all ships by 2030. Infringements will now be recorded holistically and recorded in a European register. Thanks to Renew Europe, the text nevertheless ensures that seafarers have the necessary flexibility in the exercise of their profession.

With this freedom, however, comes responsibility. This is why Renew Europe has paid particular attention to ensuring that declarations of loss of fishing gear are systematic. Any disappearance of gear at sea such as lines and nets must be notified in the logbook and submitted electronically to the competent authorities. The loss of fishing gear is a source of marine pollution and their recovery will be facilitated by this reporting.




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