EU: Better exchange of information to combat illegal cod fisheries in the Barents Sea –

EU: Better exchange of information to combat illegal cod fisheries in the Barents Sea Published:  22 February, 2006

ILLEGAL fishing is on the agenda at EU level after Joe Borg this week expressed his concern about the issue. Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, told the Fisheries Council this week that tackling the scourge of illegal fishing that removes around 100,000 tonnes of cod, a year, from the Barents Sea, is a very urgent but also very difficult task. It will require greater determination by both coastal states outside the EU and Member States. These catches, which are taken from Russian and international waters, from a stock managed jointly between Norway and Russia, are difficult to distinguish from those made by vessels operating legally. Very often, this fish, gutted and frozen at sea, is landed in commercial ports from where it is taken to China for further processing, before returning to the EU market. Responding to the Swedish and Danish Delegations, who had raised this point in Council yesterday, Commissioner Borg said that rules were already in place in the EU to control third country landings. Though, a more rigorous approach to control and inspection was necessary, this would not suffice, he warned. Strengthened co-operation in exchanging information between the EU and non-EU States concerned was essential to identify accurately the origin of the fish and follow it up beyond landing. The Commission, he said, would work closely with Norway, both bilaterally and at multinational level, in the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC). It would also extend an invitation to Russia to join them in the fight against illegal fishing practices. This, Commissioner Borg said, was the only chance of successfully tackling this scourge. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.