Oceana applauds landmark rules for EU fisheries control: vessel tracking will be compulsory for all fishing vessels

Press Release Date: June 27, 2023

Location: Brussels


Irene Campmany | email: icampmany@oceana.org | tel.: +34 682 622 245

The organisation worked tirelessly with fishers, NGOs, and vessel-tracking companies to make this victory a reality

The new Fisheries Control Regulation will benefit the ocean and its ecosystems as well as EU fishers

Brussels.- Oceana applauds the approval by the Member States’ representatives and the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament of the new Fisheries Control Regulation. This landmark legislation will improve the monitoring of fishing activities and mandate the installation of tracking systems on all EU fishing vessels, including small-scale ones. This law will enhance transparency in the fishing sector, improve fishing efficiency and combat illegal fishing.

“The adoption of new European fisheries control rules is a remarkable milestone that will require all EU fishing vessels, including 49.000 small-scale ones, to track their location at sea. This is an enormous step in EU sustainable fisheries management that will significantly contribute to enhancing transparency and offer tangible benefits to fishers, such as improved safety and more effective fishing operations. The agreement also proves that continued collaboration between authorities, environmental organisations, and the fishing community is key to ensuring the sustainability of marine resources” says Ignacio Fresco Vanzini, Senior Policy Officer at Oceana in Europe.

Tracking systems have numerous benefits for the ocean, bolstering marine conservation and promoting sustainable fisheries. They also benefit fishers, empowering them to be part of fisheries management and ensuring prompt assistance in case of emergencies.

 The European Union is the world’s largest seafood market and a global leader in the fight against illegal fishing and as such, it urgently needed a robust system to control its own fleet and improve checks on seafood sold in the EU market. Oceana therefore also welcomes the agreement to increase public information on control efforts by EU Member States, requiring them to report annually on how many infringements were found in their waters and the actual sanctions allocated. The new EU Fisheries Control Regulation will also require better traceability for processed products such as canned tuna.