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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement30 January 2020Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Fisheries in the North Sea and North Western Waters: Landing obligation not respected

The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) has published three compliance evaluation reports on the implementation of the landing obligation. These reports confirm that non-compliance with the landing obligation has been widespread in the North Sea and North Western Waters for specific fisheries during the evaluation period (2015 to 2017). The failure to enforce the landing obligation is a matter of serious concern to the European Commission and jeopardises the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which includes ensuring the long-term environmental sustainability of fishing activities and the gradual elimination of discards.

The reports also note that traditional control tools (e.g. inspections at sea) have proven to be ineffective at enforcing the landing obligation and that the introduction of remote electronic monitoring (REM), incorporating closed-circuit television systems on board fishing vessels, would provide an appropriate solution. The necessity of REM controls to enforce the landing obligation is reflected in the European Commission's proposal for a revised Fisheries Control System and by the EFCA Technical guidelines and specifications for the implementation of Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) in EU fisheries.

The European Commission takes the findings of the EFCA compliance evaluation reports very seriously and will continue working closely with Member States to ensure that appropriate measures are adopted to effectively control and enforce the landing obligation.

More information

Executive summaries of compliance evaluation reports

EFCA's press release


Publication date
30 January 2020
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries