EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands reach an agreement for better monitoring and control of pelagic fish stocks

The European Union, Norway and the Faeroe Islands reached an agreement for the monitoring, control and surveillance of shared pelagic fisheries stocks in the North East Atlantic. The agreement concerns mackerel, horse mackerel, blue whiting and herring. This is the first dedicated agreement on fisheries control and a major step in progressively achieving a level playing field on control and management of these fish stocks. The fish stocks covered by the agreement are subject to negotiations between countries each year for their total allowable catches (TACs) – the fishing opportunities – for the following year. The three signatories commit to adopt a number of control measures for these fisheries in order to avoid discards and to monitor the landing and weighing operations. In 2019, the landing obligation entered fully in force ensuring that certain catches of fish are no longer allowed to be discarded at sea. Several measures to prevent illegal discards will be mandatory, such as real-time access to weighing data and camera surveillance of landing and processing facilities. In the future, further measures enhancing monitoring and control of these pelagic stocks will be put in place. The EU will now start with the implementation of the agreement including through the transposition of measures into the EU law. The agreement is open for the signature of other coastal and fishing States in the future. More information is available here.