Euro Parliament moves to stamp out illegal fishing in Atlantic –

Euro Parliament moves to stamp out illegal fishing in Atlantic Published:  20 October, 2010

THE European Parliament last night unveiled a new plan to stamp out illegal and unregulated fishing in the North Atlantic.

MEPs have approved a proposal to modernise the North-West Atlantic Fisheries Organisation and create a new dispute settlement procedure.

They also voted in favour of a resolution  to allow the transposition into EU rules of a fisheries accord on control and enforcement measures in the North-East Atlantic. The resolution was adopted by 636 votes to 21, with 5 abstentions. The proposals fall into two categories.

Northwest Atlantic – First, Parliament approved changes to the convention on co-operation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) area, which encompasses a large portion of the Atlantic, including areas near the USA, Canada, Greenland and St Pierre and Miquelon (France). The main aim of the convention is to improve the utilisation and conservation of fishery resources. Parliament’s amendments seek to modernise the organisation, streamline decision-making and establish a new dispute settlement procedure.

North East Atlantic – MEPs also gave their go-ahead on rules transposing into EU law the new control and enforcement scheme of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), designed to monitor vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, thus making them effective in the whole Union.

Essentially, some of the measures are  designed to monitor fishing vessels that are taking part in illegal or unregulated fishing in European waters.European lawmakers have complained that Iceland and the autonomous Danish Faroe Islands are exploiting European accomplishments in the management of mackerel stocks.The issue was raised first by the Scottish government, which in late September expressed outrage over decisions by the Faroe Islands and Iceland to set quotas for mackerel fishing that the Scottish government said exceeded the total allowable catch.