Stronger new European fisheries rules have been brought into force, aiming to crack down on a roughly ten billion euro-per-year industry of illegal fishing.
The new regulations introduce a point system for serious infringements which can ultimately result in wrongdoers losing their licence to fish.
All EU marine fishery products will be certified, to make their origin traceable. Catch certification is to make it possible to track the fish from net to market to plate.
There is more satellite surveillance in the plan, and there are more inspections. It is up to each country to make sure the rules are followed. Failing this could see a country’s quotas reduced and European aid suspended.
Brussels said the new rules are to improve protection of resources and the livelihoods of those who play by the rules. Punishment till now has differed from one country to another. Now an offence will have a uniform sanction applied wherever it takes place and whatever the fisherman’s nationality or flag.