ARE ROD LI­CENCES ON THE WAY?

Sea Angler (UK) - - YOUR FISHING -

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.

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