72 civil society organisations from the EU and across the globe have called on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to end secrecy around how fishing activities are controlled and sanctioned in a crucial vote to be taken in the Fisheries Committee on 26 January 2021.
In a letter sent to all MEPs, the signatories, including the EU Fisheries Control Coalition, warn that the lack of transparency in the current implementation of the EU Fisheries Control Regulation means the law is in fact failing to prevent illegal fishing. This, in turn, is a major threat to the sustainability of marine resources, food security and the livelihoods of local communities.
According to the organisations, to prevent fraudulent practices and make fishing accountable, legal and sustainable, the European Commission and Member States should be required to publish aggregated data on how fisheries control rules are being implemented, as well as information on infringements and sanctions.
The signatories of the letter therefore urge the Members of the Fisheries Committee to put an end to secrecy by bringing fisheries controls in line with established legal transparency principles.