EU Transparency and Control Regulation

EU Transparency and Control Regulation

Photo credit: Spanish mackerel (c) Jason Houston. This image may be used in online works, social media and printed materials produced by TNC and partner organizations.
Grantee The Nature Conservancy
Grant Amount $800,000
Duration Two Years


Oceans 5 is supporting a coalition of NGOs (The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, WWF, ClientEarth, Our Fish, the Fisheries Secretariat, Seas at Risk and Sciaena) working to encourage fully documented fisheries and improve transparency in the European Union (EU).

EU fisheries are governed by a Common Fisheries Policy, which can only be met if efficient and coherent rules are in place that ensure the appropriate level of oversight. The EU’s fisheries Control Regulation is—together with the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing Regulation—the cornerstone of its fisheries control system. The fisheries Control Regulation lays out the responsibilities and obligations for EU Member States related to monitoring, control and surveillance of their waters and flagged vessels, as well as seafood traceability. However, it is an outdated regulation which, for example, does not provide for the development of Fully Documented Fisheries in the EU and is silent on transparency issues.

Through this project, the coalition members will encourage the EU to strengthen the fisheries Control Regulation in several key areas. The updated regulation would include Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM), a system for monitoring fishing vessels through GPS, sensors and CCTV cameras that is being successfully used in Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia and the US. It would also mandate user-friendly electronic reporting and monitoring systems for all EU vessels, regardless of their size. The catch information provided by such tools would enable accurate stock assessments, which would in turn reduce the risk of overfishing and/or depletion of fish stocks.

In addition, the coalition will encourage better transparency to ensure that the EU member states comply with the fisheries Control Regulation and publicly share information about their compliance. This increased transparency would ensure that all member states are fulfilling the requirements of the regulation, enable a level playing field and set a global example of sustainable fisheries for other nations and regions to follow.