Europe's illegal fishing practices reviewed

Commission issues first infringements report, promises annual updates to help green the CFP

The European Commission yesterday issued a first EU-wide report on serious infringements of EU fisheries rules under the common fisheries policy (CFP). Despite a reluctance by member states to submit complete data - France provided none at all - the Commission said it was determined to see the name and shame-style report develop into an important element in its efforts to green the CFP.

Of the over 4,000 infringements notified by member states, almost half involved boats fishing in areas without authorisation. This is a relatively easy type of illegal activity to detect, the Commission notes. Environment-related infringements include: sale of fish that do not meet minimum size requirements; use of prohibited gear or fishing methods; activities aimed at obstructing monitoring procedures; and falsifying or destroying catch information.

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