The ALDE group today held a seminar in the European Parliament with the title “Halting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing: The role of EU subsidies”.
Addressing the meeting, fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki said that the Commission is trying to make sure that EU money will no longer go to vessels involved in IUU fishing.
There are examples of fishing vessel owners that are convicted but have yet received EU subsidies. To prevent this in the future, the Commission is working on introducing stronger conditionality on subsidies. The idea is that vessel owners would be required to prove that their vessels are not on IUU blacklists in order to receive EU funding. “No EU funding should contribute directly or indirectly to IUU fishing,” Damanaki said.
Jack Thurston, executive director of fishsubsidy.org, also participated in the seminar. He commented: “Damanaki said a lot of good things about conditionality, making sure that criminals don’t get subsidies. But what puzzles me is why the Commission is not seeking the information that it needs to make sure that that is happening. I would like the Commission to write to every member state and ask for the information it has the right to ask for under the control regulation. And it would be nice if they would publish their blacklist.”
Link: Read Damanaki’s speech