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Fisheries Guides

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Guides on the Fisheries policy of the EU.
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and issues for Ecuador
The European Commission continues action to fight illegal fishing worldwide by notifying the Republic of Ecuador that it needs to step up its actions (yellow card) in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Eastern Baltic cod emergency measures
The Commission announced on 23 July emergency measures to save the ailing eastern Baltic cod stock from impending collapse. Emergency measures will ban, with immediate effect, commercial fishing for cod in most of the Baltic Sea until 31 December 2019.
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in general and in Taiwan
The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, decided on 27 June to lift the yellow card acknowledging the progress made by Taiwan and the major upgrade of its fisheries legal and administrative systems to fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in general and in Thailand
The European Commission on 8 January delisted Thailand from the group of "warned countries" as recognition of its progress in tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Commission proposal for Atlantic and North Sea fishing opportunities (TACs) in 2019
Ahead of the December Fisheries Council, where EU Member States are expected to agree on next year's fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea, the Commission presented its proposal for a continued progress towards sustainable fish stocks and viable opportunities for the industry.
Transparency and monitoring of EU fleets fishing internationally
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Innovation in the blue economy
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
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
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
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
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.
EC reform of the Common Fisheries Policy
The overall objective of the European Commission proposals for a modern and simpler Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to make fishing sustainable - environmentally, economically and socially. The new policy is aimed at bringing fish stocks back to sustainable levels by ending overfishing and setting fishing opportunities based on scientific advice. Its goal is to provide EU citizens with a stable, secure and healthy food supply for the long term; it seeks to bring new prosperity to the fishing sector, end dependence on subsidies and create new opportunities for jobs and growth in coastal areas.
EU fight against illegal fishing
The European Commission has stepped up its action to fight illegal fishing worldwide by warning eight third countries that they risk being identified as countries it considers non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The countries in question are Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu. Today's decision is the first of its kind and it highlights that these countries are not doing enough to fight illegal fishing. It identifies concrete shortcomings, such as lack of dialogue or lack of actions to address deficiencies in monitoring, controlling and surveillance of fisheries, and suggests corrective actions to resolve them. The decision will not, at this stage, entail any measures affecting trade. The eight countries have been notified and given a reasonable time to respond and take measures to rectify the situation. The Commission has also proposed an action plan for each country. Should the situation not improve, the EU could take further steps, which could entail trade measures such as a ban on selling fisheries products to the EU.