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EU Fisheries Control Agency Adopts 2007 Work Programme

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

01 November 2006

At a meeting on Friday, the Administrative Board of the Community Fisheries Control Agency adopted the first work programme for the newly created Agency.

The Agency’s task is to strengthen inspection and control of fisheries measures and to make enforcement more uniform throughout the European Union.

To do this, it will organise operational coordination of Member States’ inspection and monitoring activities from the fishing vessel to the first sale of fish landed in or imported to the Union.

In 2007, the Agency will give priority to the implementation of the recovery and management of cod stocks, protection of bluefin tuna, the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, reduction of destructive fishing practices and discards. The Administrative Board also adopted the EUR5 million budget of the Agency for 2007.

“This is another welcome step towards a much-needed level playing field in enforcement of fisheries measures throughout the Union. This is what the vast majority of stakeholders have been calling for. Better application of the measures, by all, means more equity between operators and greater protection for the fish stocks,” Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, announced.

The decision to establish an EU Fisheries Control Agency was taken under the 2002 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy to strengthen monitoring and control of EU fisheries measures and to help ensure that they are applied uniformly throughout the EU. The Agency will liaise with the relevant Regional Advisory Councils to secure input from stakeholders and to help promote a culture of compliance with EU conservation and management measures throughout the EU.

The Agency, which is provisionally located in Brussels, intends to recruit 38 staff members by the end of 2007. It will move to its permanent location in Vigo, Spain, as soon as the necessary arrangements are in place.

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