Report | October 5, 2016

The need for a public register of information on European Union vessels fishing outside EU waters

The revision of the EU’s external fishing fleet regulation is a critical opportunity to ensure that all of the EU’s vessels, whether operating within or outside EU waters, are subject to common standards and requirements in line with the Common Fisheries Policy and the EU’s global policies.

A proposal for a new regulation governing the EU’s external fishing fleet was released in December 2015. The document includes the establishment of a register containing information on authorisations for EU fishing activities in non-EU waters. The proposed register would make the following key information available to the public, whilst at the same time ensuring confidentiality of commercial data:

  •  the name and flag of the vessel
  • the type of authorisation under which the vessel operates; and
  • the authorised time and zone of fishing activity

The proposed register of external fishing authorisation would represent a major step forward in improving international fisheries governance. It would also enable the EU to demonstrate a global leadership on transparency and accountability within its fishing sector.