ARE ROD LICENCES ON THE WAY?
Sea angling rod licences could be on the cards under the European Commission’s proposed improvements to modernise and simplify how fishing rules are monitored.
If adopted, it means EU member states must put in place a registration or a licensing system for recreational fishing and collect data on catches from such fisheries through catch reporting or other data collection mechanisms.
Charter skippers in recreational fishers will be obliged to send catch declarations of protected species electronically to the authorities after each trip. There could also be a registration or licensing system for vessels in such recreational fisheries.
Sea anglers in about half the EU member states are already obliged to fish under a registration or licensing system. While the European Anglers Alliance believes increased transparency will lead to less conflict between the recreational and the small scale fisheries sector, it suggests licences ought to be free, as in Italy.
“We are happy to see that the Commission gives the member states a choice, that a fully fledged fee licensing system is not required to comply with the new rules, if adopted. We have promoted the Italian system, which requires sign up but no payment,” said the EAA.
The proposals will target commercial fishers, too. There are proposed measures to improve the enforcement of the Common Fisheries Policy, a more reliable fisheries data system (including fully digitised reporting of catches) applicable to all EU fishing vessels (including vessels below 12 metres), and an electronic tracking system for all vessels.
The aim is to strengthen compliance, modernise data management and, ultimately, make control more efficient to the benefit of fisheries, and intensify the fight against illegal and unregulated sea fishing.