The European Parliament has expressed its support for the need of sound measures in the interests of greater transparency, sustainability and accountability of fisheries outside European Union waters, by voting in favor of the European Commission’s proposal to manage activities of the EU fleet fishing in non-EU waters.
The conservation organization Oceana congratulates the European Parliament on this strong decision,” which represents an opportunity for fisheries to be an example of transparency on economic beneficiaries.”
The organization recalls that EU vessels operate waters from developing coastal countries in the Indian and Pacific oceans and the coasts of central Africa through various types of agreements, including official agreements whereby the EU pays EUR 145 million per year.
“This decision sends a clear message to other countries with long-distance fleets: the EU adheres to the highest standards and we expect other countries to do the same,” said Maria Jose Cornax, Campaign Director for Oceana in Europe.
The full Parliament vote supports the proposal of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries to create the first public register of fishing activities with data on the ownership of its beneficiaries. By making this information known, the possibilities of money laundering and tax evasion are reduced, thus contributing to the fight against illegal fishing.
The European Parliament also restricts fishing authorizations to vessels with a clean legal record, that is to say, to those that have not committed serious infringements in the 12 months prior to the submission. This will ensure that activities of Community vessels operating outside EU waters are consistent with the Common Fisheries Policy and EU policies to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
The proposal will then be negotiated between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.