On 15 February 2021, Irish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Chris MacManus of The Left group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL, posed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission:
“Can the Commission confirm that the implementation of independent observer schemes for the purposes of ensuring that no illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is taking place, is a competence of the Member States and can be implemented on their own initiative?
Can the Commission outline any restrictions that might be placed on any Member States if they choose to implement such a scheme?”
On 27 April 2021, Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, responded on behalf of the European Commission stating: “ The EU fisheries control framework foresees the possibility to establish EU observer schemes in accordance with Article 73(1) of the regulation (EC) 1224/2009 (Control Regulation). This is without prejudice to the observer schemes established under the auspices of regional fisheries management organisations or Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements to which the Union is a Party, Contracting Party or a Cooperating non-contracting Party.
The Member States may also decide, on their own initiative, to deploy control observers on board of fishing vessel flying their flag for monitoring compliance with the landing obligation in accordance with Article 15(13) of the common fisheries policy (CFP) Regulation and Article 73a of the Control Regulation. In such case, the requirements set out in Article 73(2) to (9) of the Control Regulation shall apply to those observers.
In addition, Article 3(2) of the Control Regulation allows the Member States to adopt more stringent national control measures that go beyond minimum requirements set out in the Control Regulation, if those measures comply with Union legislation and are in conformity with the CFP.”
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/fishermen-beach-boat-fishing-sea-2983615/