Europe and Central Asia

BirdLife Europe & Central Asia Press Release - 30 May 2018

Out-of-Control Regulation does nothing to protect future of European fishing 

Today, the European Commission released their proposal for the revised Fisheries Control Regulation. The proposal is an utter failure to set controls for rules that protect the marine environment, meaning Member States will ultimately fail to ensure fishing is sustainable. Rushing through the entire revision process, the Commission has been criticised for not carrying out a thorough public consultation, depriving civil society the opportunity to share their views.

The Commission proposal allows fishing vessels within the EU to break the rules set to limit the negative impact of fisheries on seabirds or marine protected areas instead of considering it as a serious infringement. It further does not envision the closure of fisheries if systematic rule-breaking has a seriously degrading impact on the marine environment. It also fails to ensure that vessels fishing outside of the EU will be well-controlled by non-EU “third countries”. Third countries are crucial to successfully monitor EU fleets fishing in non-EU waters, yet they lack vessels, equipment, training, and many other resources to be able to properly control EU vessels. The proposal fails to support controls outside the EU, in particular the support that the European Fisheries Control Agency should provide to these non-EU countries.

The proposal will now be reviewed by the European Parliament and Council, who can still save this slowly sinking ship and strengthen the Control Regulation appropriately. A strong and effective regulation can only be achieved through the inclusion of civil society in the discussions.

Bruna Campos, EU Marine and Fisheries Policy Officer, BirdLife Europe:
“The Commission’s decision to go full-steam ahead with this revision without a proper consultation period has unsurprisingly resulted in a disastrous mess. It is pure common sense that without controls, rules will not be followed. In this case, having rules to manage the impact of fisheries to the marine environment isn’t enough if there aren’t any efficient systems that control vessels and enforces those rules.”


For further information, please contact:
Bruna Campos, EU Marine and Fisheries Policy Officer
+32 492 888 127  


BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is a partnership of 48 national conservation organisations and a leader in bird conservation. Our unique local to global approach enables us to deliver high impact and long term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is one of the six regional secretariats that compose BirdLife International. Based in Brussels, it supports the European and Central Asian Partnership and is present in 47 countries including all EU Member States. With more than 4100 staff in Europe, two million members and tens of thousands of skilled volunteers, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, together with its national partners, owns or manages more than 6000 nature sites totalling 320,000 hectares.