Belgium. EU Fisheries Control Agency adopts first work programme for 2007 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 October 2006
Fisheries news:

At a meeting, last Friday, the Administrative Board of the Community Fisheries Control Agency, adopted the first work programme for the newly created Agency. The Agency’s task is to strengthen inspection and control of fisheries measures and to make enforcement more uniform throughout the European Union. To do this, it will organise operational coordination of Member States’ inspection and monitoring activities from the fishing vessel to the first sale of fish landed in or imported to the Union. In 2007, the Agency will give priority to the implementation of the recovery and management of cod stocks, protection of bluefin tuna, the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, reduction of destructive fishing practices and discards. The Administrative Board also adopted the € 5 million budget of the Agency for 2007.

“This is another welcome step towards a much-needed level playing field in enforcement of fisheries measures throughout the Union. This is what the vast majority of stakeholders have been calling for. Better application of the measures, by all, means more equity between operators and greater protection for the fish stocks.”, Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said.

The first joint deployment plan to be set up in 2007 relates to the recovery of cod stocks in the North Sea, Skagerrak and Eastern Channel. The Member States that will be involved in this plan are Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The joint deployment plans for cod in the Baltic and bluefin tuna will follow later.

The decision to establish an EU Fisheries Control Agency was taken under the 2002 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy to strengthen monitoring and control of EU fisheries measures and to help ensure that they are applied uniformly throughout the EU. The Agency will liaise with the relevant Regional Advisory Councils to secure input from stakeholders and to help promote a culture of compliance with EU conservation and management measures throughout the EU.

The Agency will organise operational co-operation between Member States through joint inspection and control deployment plans. These plans will use pooled resources from the Member States – human resources as well as equipment such as vessels, aircraft and other physical means of control and inspection. These plans will be tailor-made to meet the needs of the areas and fisheries concerned and to ensure that the resources are deployed in a rational and effective way.

At the international level, the European Commission could ask the Agency to carry out additional support tasks such as assisting Member States in inspection and surveillance activities in the framework of the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) and the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO).

The Agency, which is provisionally located in Brussels, intends to recruit 38 staff members by the end of 2007. It will move to its permanent location in Vigo, Spain, as soon as the necessary arrangements are in place.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 October 2006 )
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