Commission writes to five Member States on late implementation of Mediterranean fisheries rules

Following the press statement issued by the European Commission on the 8 June, criticising Member States for failing to apply the Mediterranean regulation, the Commission is now writing to the Member States concerned.

On behalf of Commissioner Danamaki, the Director General of DG MARE is addressing letters to Greece, Spain, Malta, France and Italy. The country specific letters will remind states of their obligations under the Mediterranean Regulation, which entered into force on 1 June, and outline what is further needed to meet legal requirements. In particular Member States were obliged to develop national management plans for fisheries and the Commission will specify what is needed in each country to make them operational.

On 8 June the European Commission issued a press statement criticising Member States for failing to apply the rules set out in the EU Mediterranean Regulation. Agreed in 2006, many of the new measures only entered into force on 1 June 2010 to allow plenty of time for countries to prepare for implementation.

Commissioner Danamaki is “truly disappointed” that Member States are not willing or able to implement the regulation. Mediterranean countries are urged to act quickly to meet their legal obligations. The Commission hints at legal action if steps are not taken.

The Mediterranean does not have catch limits on fish stocks, but fishing is managed by technical measures, as set out in the Mediterranean Regulation. These include: minimum mesh sizes for nets, minimum landing sizes for fish, regulating fishing in coastal areas, protecting sensitive habitats. Member State are also obliged to draw up management plans for fisheries in their territorial waters.

Commission press release: Mediterranean Fisheries: sustainable fishing practices cannot be postponed

Commission Memo on the Mediterranean Regulation

Mediterranean Regulation: Council Regulation (EC) No 1967/2006 of 21 December 2006

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