Illegale vis mag niet Europa in!

Illegale vis, gevangen buiten Europa, mag niet Europa in! NGO’s pleiten voor een strengere naleving van de Europese regelgeving om illegale vis tegen te gaan. Lees meer over de analyse van deze regelgeving en voorgestelde aanpak van de Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts en WWF of download hun gezamenlijke IUU rapport.

“Tough EU legislation on illegal fishing needs stronger implementation to reach full potential, say NGOs”

MALTA, February 3rd 2016 – The Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts and WWF published an analysis today praising the EU’s regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) fishing but urged that its implementation needs to be strengthened so as to ensure that no illegal fish enter the EU.

The analysis states that the 2010 regulation has proven a powerful tool to prevent illegally caught fish from entering the EU, and driven positive change in fisheries management standards in third-countries, where more than 60 percent of the fish products consumed in the EU originate.

However, the NGOs conclude that some member states must do more to fully apply the law to prevent illicit operators gaining access to the EU market. The analysis urges more consistent and effective checks of catch documentation (catch certificates) and consignments (in particular from countries judged as high-risk) to ensure fish have been legally caught.

Furthermore, the regulation is weakened by the use of a paper-based system for the documentation of imported seafood products, which prevents the cross-checking of information between the different EU border control agencies. The NGOs recommend a series of actions to strengthen implementation.

WWF’s Eszter Hidas said the Commission must make good on its commitment to adopt an electronic database of information on imported seafood products in 2016, to prevent potential abuse. “This system can only be effective in the long run if information on seafood imports can be shared among the 28 member states in real time, allowing for cross checks, verifications and ultimately, a coordinated approach in identifying and blocking suspicious consignments. The ultimate goal, to ensure healthy fish stocks for the communities that rely on them, can only be achieved if illegal products have zero chance of reaching the EU”.

The analysis also urges all member states to issue stringent penalties for their nationals involved in illicit fisheries trade as required by the regulation, and calls for reform of other legislation to ensure EU vessels operating in foreign waters are acting legally.

Oceana’s Maria-Jose Cornax said, “This analysis shows how countries such as Spain are working to penalise EU nationals shown to be involved in illegal fishing anywhere in the world. This approach needs to be uniformly adopted by all member states. In addition, the adoption of robust new rules governing the EU’s distant water fishing fleet will drive a real shift to more transparent, sustainable fishing everywhere.”

Steve Trent of the Environmental Justice Foundation said the EU should also support the adoption of global measures to ensure transparent and sustainable fishing practices. “The EU has proven it is committed to helping raise standards in fisheries globally, supporting many countries to tighten their measures against illegal fishing, and calling out those who fail to cooperate. Getting other key markets around the world to join the EU in this battle should be a key priority in the coming years.”

The Director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Ending illegal fishing project, Tony Long said, “As the world’s largest import market for fish products, the European Union plays a pivotal role in reforming the global fishing trade. This assessment shows the EU’s regulation for tackling illegal fishing has raised standards in global fisheries management. We support continued action at Commission and member state level to realise the regulation’s full potential.”

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