A penalty point system resembling those applied to driving offences is being proposed by Europe’s fisheries chief.
Licensed fishermen who accumulate too many points over three years could face suspensions of six and then 12 months – finally having their permit withdrawn.
The system would apply to the vessel and everyone on board.
The new rules would also govern EU vessels fishing outside European waters, and non-EU vessels in Union waters.
European Fisheries Comissionner Joe Borg:
“Our collective failure to adequately implement and monitor the rules which we agree on undermines the credibility of all our management measures, and it makes a mockery of the system based on catch limitations.”
A country failing to uphold the rules could find its EU subsidies and annual catch quotas cut and even face a ban on fishing in its waters.
Borg also proposed making it compulsory for EU countries to inspect fish landings, processing, transport and sale.
Under the proposed reform, officials from one country could inspect vessels from another.