Question for written answer to the Commission – Nicola Caputo (S&D) – 4th December 2014
During the confirmation hearings for the Juncker Commission, the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said that his priority will be to protect the natural capital on which sustainable growth depends and safeguard the health and well-being of citizens. He also said that he wanted to consult very soon with the European Parliament and the Council on updating the IUU Regulation.
Furthermore, it is a known fact that illegal fishing is a threat to the sustainable use of resources and compromises the common fisheries policy and international efforts to improve the management of ocean resources and seas.
In light of the above, can the Commission, as a whole and without prejudice to the competences of the Member States, explain how it proposes to:
|1.||more effectively combat this highly profitable practice, restricting access to the market to certified products only?|
|2.||guarantee greater surveillance and more effective sanctions for violations?|
|3.||increase awareness of the practice among consumers and users?|
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission – 3rd February 2015
The EU has put in place a comprehensive system of rules dealing with the control of fishing activities, the combat of illegal fishing and the elimination of the access of IUU fish to the EU market as set out in the Control(1) and IUU Regulations(2).
With respect to the combat of the IUU activities the Commission is working on the following areas:
|—||Establishing a global and integrated common approach to fisheries control ‘from the net to the plate’,|
|—||Enhancing mutual cooperation between all Member States, third countries, the Commission and the European Fishery Control Agency,|
|—||Developing a culture of compliance for all stakeholders and disseminating useful information to raise awareness,|
|—||Ensuring a level-playing field across the EU in terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the EU IUU rules,|
|—||Applying effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions for serious infringements against these rules,|
|—||Guiding Member States on issues concerning the application of the EU catch certification system,|
|—||Promoting robust and targeted controls at EU ports through an active use of the mutual assistance system, exchange of information and best practices between the Commission and Member States,|
|—||Cooperating with third countries in addressing IUU problems and achieving structural changes in their fisheries management systems to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.|
The Commission intends to continue and reinforce its work in those areas in the coming years.
(Source: European Parliament)