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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement31 May 2023Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries1 min read

Sustainable fisheries: agreement on revision of fisheries control system


The Commission welcomes the provisional political agreement reached today between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the revision of the fisheries control system proposed by the European Commission exactly 5 years ago with a view to a better implementation of the common fisheries policy. The revised rules modernise the way fishing activities of both EU vessels and those fishing in EU waters are controlled. The new rules help prevent overfishing, create a more effective and harmonised fisheries control system and ensure a level playing field between different sea basins and fleets.

Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said:

By revising and updating the fisheries control system, we ensure a more effective control over the use of our valuable marine resources and a better enforcement of the rules in the future. With the agreement of today, we are also making fisheries control fit for the future through increased use of digital technologies. Our achievement today demonstrates that the long and difficult discussions throughout the years were worth every effort.

The agreement updates a great part of the existing rules for controlling fishing vessels fully taking advantage of modern digital technologies. The new rules ensure improved monitoring and traceability of catches by making use of the best available technology, for instance by installing vessel monitoring systems (VMS) onboard most vessels, ensuring electronic recording of catches, using remote electronic monitoring tools onboard bigger vessels to improve the monitoring of compliance with the landing obligation (i.e. that catches are brought to shore), improved tracing of fresh fishery and aquaculture products.  The new system also includes harmonised sanctions for breaching the rules.

The European Parliament and the Council will now formally have to adopt the new regulation before it can enter into force.