Agreements to combat illegal fishing

On 1 January 2010 a series of new measures entered into force to support the control system of the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

Illegal fishing (IUU) represents an estimated €10 billion a year and the EU is an attractive market for IUU operators. Demand for fish is high and it is easy to launder IUU catches, through processing in particular, due to the flagrant lack of mechanisms for tracing products and identifying fishing vessels. The new IUU regulation aims to put an end to the sale of fish originating in illegal activities: in future, all sea fishing products traded with the EU will be certified and the traceability of origin guaranteed.    A global system of catch certification will guarantee the traceability of fish caught, landed, traded and sold at all stages of the process, from the net to the plate. To combat effectively any violations, the regulation also introduces a harmonised system of deterrents that are proportionate to the seriousness of the violation. The Commission is holding seminars and information meetings to help EU non-members to adapt to these new requirements.  

For more information: