Spanish MEP Carmen Fraga urges the EU to support the regulation against IUU fishing. (Photo: European Union 2012 PE-EP)
MEP accuses Brussels of facilitating illegal capture landings
Monday, July 09, 2012, 03:40 (GMT + 9)
Spanish MEP Carmen Fraga accused Maria Damanaki and Janez Potocnik, Commissioners of Fisheries and the Environment of the European Union (EU), respectively, of supporting an amendment of the agreement of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) for coastal states engaged in chartering -- or hiring -- boats to certify the legality of fishery products.
According to the legislator, Damanki ensures that Europe is "in the front line of the fight against pirate fishing" with the rule against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing but now she intends to open the door for illegal catches.
In her opinion, authorizing the chartering would not be a problem if most third countries did not lack the means and the capacity to do so, and with the new rules they would manage to issue certificates validating fish exports.
Fraga argues that the change in the CITES convention would violate European law and go against the guidelines of the United Nations for Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which have created a double safety net on the caught fishing resources.
The enforcement of regulations against illegal fishing -- in 2008 – was of great concern to exporting countries, the newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported.
Fraga urged the European commission to explain "the reasons for supporting the interests of countries like Brazil, New Zealand, Australia or US, when the price to pay will be to deprive the rule against IUU fishing of significance, weakening in this way the EU’s battle."
According to the report by La Opinion, chartering makes it possible for a country to authorize the landing of catches from other nations to 'thicken' their fisheries statistics by counting them as if they were their own.
In this case, in the future a higher fishing quota would be achieved of species caught in the Regional Fisheries Organisations (RFOs) from which the goods come.
Commissioner Potocnik confirmed that Brussels will present this measure in other RFOs.
- A 'major boost' in negotiations with third countries claimed from EU
By Analia Murias