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Article 47 - EU Question and Statement

Apr 26,2009 SACN

Parliamentary questions
26 February 2009
WRITTEN QUESTION by Struan Stevenson (PPE-DE) to the Commission

 Subject: Recreational and sport anglers under the rules of the CFP

Can the European Commission confirm that recreational and sporting anglers in the EU, including those who may target recovery stocks, will not be required to license their vessels, log their catch or fish within an allocated quota, provided that all fish they catch are used solely for personal or family consumption and provided they do not sell their catch? Can the European Commission guarantee that exceptions to this rule, as laid out in Article 47 of the Commission proposal on establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the CFP, will be solely at the discretion of the Member States under the principle of subsidiarity?

Last updated: 4 March 2009
Parliamentary questions
30 March 2009
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

In contrast to what has been widely reported, the Commission has not made any proposals to submit all recreational or amateur anglers to quotas or controls similar to those applying to professional fishermen.

The Commission has proposed to address some recreational fisheries in a Regulation(1) establishing a Community control system to ensure compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy (Article 47). The draft Regulation does not, however, aim to place a disproportionate burden upon individual anglers or on the leisure fishing industry. What is proposed is to subject certain recreational fisheries on certain specific stocks, namely those subject to a recovery plan, to certain basic conditions on permits and catch reporting. These requirements will also help to obtain information allowing the public authorities to evaluate the biological impact of such activities and, where necessary, to prepare the measures needed. As is the case for commercial fishing activities, Member States would be responsible for the enforcement and monitoring of such measures.

The Commission would like to emphasise that it does not intend to submit all recreational fishermen to quotas. The proposal would not cover shore anglers, including those wading in the sea, or anglers fishing from a pier, from a canoe or from a kayak. It would only cover recreational fishermen who fish from a vessel in the open sea and who catch fish which are under recovery plans, i.e. fish that are threatened by extinction. The normal hobby angler who catches an insignificant number of fish when he goes out fishing and uses it exclusively for his private consumption will not be covered by the control regulation, even if he catches fish like cod which is under a recovery plan.

The establishment of the precise catch threshold from which controls will have to apply will depend on the kind of fish caught. This threshold should be determined on a case by case basis and following receipt of the relevant advice from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries (STECF).

In this context, the Commission would like to recall that in many cases recreational sea fishing is already subject to Member State' regulation. There are already many cases where permits and catch reporting are obligatory. The Commission's proposal is intended to help to harmonise such requirements, and to ensure that there is data on the relevant fisheries that is equally good wherever such fisheries take place.

The Commission looks forward to even more discussions with stakeholders on how to further restrict the proposal's application to recreational fisheries which have a significant impact on stocks under a recovery plan. The Commission, of course, wants to ensure that the final regulation adopted by Council achieves a fair balance between, on the one hand, obtaining accurate information on the impact of recreational fisheries on recovery stocks (following a case by case analysis) and, on the other, ensuring that recreational fishers whose catches clearly have a negligible biological impact are not burdened with disproportionate requirements.

(1) COM(2008)721 final.

Last updated: 3 April 2009


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