EJF Calls on the EU to Support a Global Record of Fishing Vessels
On the day of the Brussels Seafood Exposition, EJF has launched its new briefing, Bringing Fishing Vessels out of the Shadows, calling on the EU to demonstrate strong political leadership to support the establishment of a Global Record of fishing vessels.
This briefing draws heavily on EJF’s work towards the eradication of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing in West Africa, where EJF has documented vessels using multiple identities and changing their flags, names and radio call-signs to avoid detection and sanctions. This work has revealed a compelling need for an international database of industrial fishing vessels containing their UVI and information on their ownership, flag, history, characteristics and fishing authorisations.
A Global Record, underpinned by an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number as a Unique Vessel Indentifier (UVI) is a practical, feasible and cost-effective step to combat IUU fishing by driving transparency and traceability throughout the seafood supply chain.
'"The fight against illegal fishing needs a global approach and I am working with international partners to make this happen. I welcome the briefing released today by the Environmental Justice Foundation, which shows how unscrupulous fishing boats regularly change names and flags to escape detection and sanctions.
That is why we strongly need the development of a Global Record of fishing vessels. Just as every car needs a license plate, every large scale fishing boat should have an identification number. This way, we can track them more easily, ensure illegal fish doesn't enter our markets, and protect law-abiding fishers. A Global Record would help underpin a transparent and traceable seafood supply chain. The Commission will work with Member States, other States and civil society organisations to make this goal a reality as quickly as possible." Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
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