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EU Fisheries Policy

Latest news on the European Union's fisheries policy.

Member states agree EU fishing quotas for next year 15 December 2016, 00:41 CET
EU fisheries ministers reached agreement Wednesday on 2017 catch limits for the main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic, the North Sea and international fisheries in which EU vessels participate.

MEPs end time-at-sea limits for North Sea fishing 22 November 2016, 19:03 CET
North Sea cod fishermen will be able to land every catch – not just cod – more easily following MEPs' s green light Tuesday to remove limits on the number of days a vessel can spend in a fishing area.

EU agrees deep-sea fish quotas for 2017-18 14 November 2016, 23:44 CET
The EU Council agreed Monday on total allowable catches and quotas for deep-sea stocks in the EU and international waters in the North-East Atlantic for 2017 and 2018.

Brussels presents Atlantic and North Sea fish quotas 29 October 2016, 11:42 CET
The European Commission presented its proposal Thursday for 2017 fishing quotas in the Atlantic and the North Sea, in preparation for the Fisheries Council in December.

EU proposes to curb subsidies causing overfishing in WTO countries 17 October 2016, 23:28 CET
The European Union called for WTO talks on fishery subsidies Monday to combat the depletion of fish stocks and the devastation of natural habitats.

EU ministers agree Baltic fish quotas 11 October 2016, 23:37 CET
EU fisheries ministers agreed next year's quotas for the ten commercially most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea Monday, paving the way for talks for the deep sea and North Sea later this year.

EU proposes 'moderate cuts' in deep-sea fish quotas 07 October 2016, 17:45 CET
The EU Commission put forward "moderate cuts" in deep-sea fish quotas in the EU and international waters in the North-East Atlantic Thursday in its fishing opportunities proposal for 2017-18.

Deep-sea fishing below 800 metres to be banned under outline deal 30 June 2016, 23:40 CET
MEPs and ministers struck a deal Thursday to ban fishing in the North-East Atlantic below a depth of 800 meters. The ban applies to bottom trawling and restricts deep-sea fishing to where it took place between 2009 and 2011.

EU agrees outline position on external fishing fleets 01 July 2016, 12:24 CET
EU states reached a compromise deal Tuesday on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, aiming to modernise the management of authorisations granted to EU vessels to fish outside EU waters.

Global clampdown on unregulated fishing 06 June 2016, 17:59 CET
A ground-breaking international treaty to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing - blamed for destroying global fish stocks - came into force at European and at global level Sunday.

EU issues country warnings against illegal fishing 24 April 2016, 00:27 CET
The European Union issued new warnings on illegal fishing to Kiribati, Sierra Leone and Trinidad and Tobago Thursday. At the same time, it lifted its red card against Sri Lanka.

Transparency and monitoring of EU fleets fishing internationally 10 December 2015, 18:06 CET
The European Commission proposed on 10 December 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. The new 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. These vessels will not be able to fish in third country waters or in the high sea unless they have been previously authorised by their flag Member State, i.e. the state under whose laws the vessel is registered or licensed. To obtain authorisation, they 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. The flag Member State, under the supervision of the European Commission, will have to check the vessel's information thoroughly before granting authorisation and will enter this information into an official register.

EU fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing 01 October 2015, 13:53 CET
The European Commission warned Comoros and Taiwan with yellow cards on 1 October as they risk being identified uncooperative in the fight against illegal fishing. Ghana and Papua New Guinea significantly reformed their fisheries governance system.

Bluefin tuna fishing season 2015 26 May 2015, 12:56 CET
The main Bluefin Tuna fishing season runs from 26 May to 24 June; this is when large vessels, purse seiners, are allowed to fish for Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic. This year, for the first time since the establishment of the Bluefin tuna recovery plan in 2006, there is a marked increase in the quota that the European Union is allowed to fish (over 9,372 tonnes). This is due to the progressive recovery of the stock, as demonstrated by scientific evidence, which led to an increase of 20% of the overall quota for Bluefin tuna.

EU fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing 14 October 2014, 15:39 CET
In its fight against illegal fishing activities worldwide, the European Commission proposed on 14 October to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing. The move comes after four years of intense dialogue with the country after which it could not demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In contrast, the Commission confirmed that Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu, which had received warnings at the same time as Sri Lanka, have successfully taken measures to tackle illegal fishing. Consequently, the Commission proposes to lift the trade measures imposed in March this year against Belize.

New Portuguese action plan to enforce EU fisheries rules 18 September 2014, 13:19 CET
As part of efforts to ensure that fisheries rules are respected across the EU, the European Commission adopted on 17 September an action plan to help upgrade the Portuguese fisheries control system to European standards. This plan was prepared in partnership with the Portuguese authorities to ensure that Portugal complies fully with the requirements of the EU's 2009 Fisheries Control Regulation and the new Common Fisheries Policy to achieve sustainable fishing. The Portuguese action plan focuses largely on the catch registration system, in order to ensure that essential data to monitor catches are complete, reliable and timely. To that end, the development of IT tools to collect, share and analyse data is essential. Catch data are reported by fishermen so control authorities can monitor their fishing quotas and thus prevent overfishing.

Maritime surveillance: Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) and its contribution to maritime security 09 July 2014, 18:24 CET
The Maritime Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) seeks to further enhance and promote relevant information sharing between authorities involved in maritime surveillance from coastguards and navies to port authorities, fisheries controls, customs authorities and environment monitoring and control bodies. It is not replacing or duplicating but building on existing information exchange and sharing systems and platforms.

EU's fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing 10 June 2014, 22:23 CET
The European Commission continues its action to fight illegal fishing worldwide by warning the Philippines and Papua New Guinea that they risk being identified as countries it considers non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Full drift-net ban 14 May 2014, 17:50 CET
The European Commission wants to prohibit the use of any kind of drift-nets for fishing in all EU waters as of 1 January 2015. Although rules are already in place to forbid using drift-nets to catch certain migratory fishes, the practice continues to be a cause of concern due to the incidental catching of marine mammals, sea turtles and sea birds which are mostly protected under EU legislation. To fight circumvention, the Commission proposal includes a full ban of drift-nets fishing in the EU as well as the prohibition of keeping drift-nets on board of fishing vessels. Furthermore, to avoid ambiguity, the proposal refines the current definition of a drift-net.

Sharing data to achieve sustainable global marine management 08 May 2014, 21:51 CET
A healthy sustainable marine environment is crucial to the smooth functioning of the EU economy. Fishing and offshore oil and gas fields for example employ thousands and bring in billions of euro a year, while most raw materials and consumer goods are imported and exported by sea. In fact, the EU has the world's largest merchant fleet; 90 % of foreign trade and 40 % of internal trade is seaborne. Coastal areas are also vital for tourism.

Innovation in the blue economy 08 May 2014, 19:11 CET
Two thirds of the Earth is covered by oceans and seas. If we manage them in a responsible manner, they can provide sources of food, medicine and energy while protecting ecosystems for generations to come. However, in order to make this possible, we need to know more about our seas and oceans. The European Commission has today presented an Action Plan for Innovation in the 'Blue Economy' to help use ocean resources sustainably and drive growth and jobs in Europe.

EU's fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing 24 March 2014, 15:48 CET
Following a Commission proposal, the Council of Ministers has today decided to list Belize, Cambodia and Guinea-Conakry as countries acting insufficiently against illegal fishing. After several warnings, measures will now come into effect against the three countries to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing. This means that imports into the EU of any fisheries products caught by vessels from these countries will now be banned, whilst EU vessels will not be allowed to fish in these countries' waters. It is the first time that measures of this type are adopted at EU level.

European Union Maritime Security Strategy 06 March 2014, 17:05 CET
The European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have adopted today a Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council "For an open and secure global maritime domain: elements for a European Union maritime security strategy".

European strategy for coastal and maritime tourism 20 February 2014, 14:01 CET
The European Commission presented on 20 February a new strategy to support coastal and maritime tourism in Europe. Recognising the sector's potential for sustainable growth and job creation, the strategy outlines 14 EU actions to help coastal regions and businesses tackle the challenges they face and strengthen the sector's position as a key driver of Europe's blue economy. These concrete actions are accompanied by a break-down of the tasks that Member States, Regions and industry stakeholders can undertake to complement the EU actions.

EU action plan to support development of blue energy 20 January 2014, 13:30 CET
The European Commission today presented a new action plan to facilitate the further development of the renewable ocean energy sector in Europe. A central element in this action plan will be to establish an Ocean Energy Forum, bringing together stakeholders to build capacity and foster cooperation. The Commission says the action plan should help drive forward this nascent 'blue energy' sector towards full industrialisation. Ocean energy covers all technologies to harvest the renewable energy of our seas and oceans other than offshore wind. Its exploitation would contribute to the decarbonisation of the EU's economy and provide secure and reliable renewable energy to Europe.