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C 261 E/120

Official Journal of the European Communities

EN
EN

18.9.2001

In accordance with the Community’s international commitments, the protocol to each fisheries agreement stipulates the conditions governing Community vessels’ fishing operations, including as regards areas, technical measures and monitoring fisheries activity (catch reporting, landing requirements, observer boarding, vessel monitoring system (VMS), etc.).

The Community is not empowered to monitor the implementation of conservation measures in third- country waters. However, it is subject to a number of obligations with regard to monitoring the activities of its vessels operating under the agreements as provided for in the agreements’ terms.

The Commission does not have an exhaustive list containing specific information on existing private agreements between European shipowners and third countries in the fisheries sector. However, where those private agreements have resulted in joint enterprises being established and receiving Community aid, the Commission possesses information in accordance with the requirements stipulated by the correspond- ing legal bases. But in order to maintain the confidentiality of personal data, the Commission is not permitted to disclose that information.

The Commission would inform the Honourable Member that it has carried out an ‘Assessment of joint enterprises in the context of structural operations in the fisheries sector’, a copy of the summary of which will be sent to him direct and to Parliament’s Secretariat.

(2001/C 261 E/128)

Subject: Longline fishing

WRITTEN QUESTION E-0453/01

by Avril Doyle (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(19 February 2001)

Given that longline fishing is carried out by European Fishing vessels in the North Atlantic, that this form of fishing accounts for tens of thousands of seabird deaths and because of that, these longline fishing techniques, species of seabirds such as the short-tailed albatross and fulmar are seriously endangered that, in all, 26 species of seabirds are in danger of extinction, could the Commission outline what measures it intends to introduce to improve the current situation with regard to longline fishing as part of its wider fishing regulations to promote ‘seabird-friendly’ longline fishing?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(30 March 2001)

In respect of the dangers to seabirds from longline fishing, whilst no major problems are envisaged for the fulmar in the North Atlantic, whose large global population (10-12 millions birds) does not place it at risk, the main concerns regard albatrosses and other species, essentially in the Southern Oceans.

To tackle this problem, the Community has already incorporated the following mitigation measures into Community legislation ( 1 ):

Using bird-scaring line with plastic streamers attached;

Weighting the lines so that they sink faster and pose less risk;

Prohibiting the discharge of offal at sea, which attracts seabirds to the lines;

Setting the longlines at night, when albatrosses and other seabirds are less likely to be foraging;

Using only thawed bait.

18.9.2001

EN
EN

Official Journal of the European Communities

C 261 E/121

These measures, which are compulsory for Community fishing companies, have been drawn up by the Council for the Conservation of Antarctic Maríne Living Resources (CCAMLR), which deals with Antarctic waters, and of which the Community is a contracting party.

In addition, the Commission and Member States have been involved in the preparation of the international plan of action for reducing incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries. This international plan was adopted at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in 1999. This year during the COFI (26 February 2001-2 March 2001) the first step of the national plans of action will be presented. The Community, based on the information sent by Member States, is proposing to start the plan by carrying out an assessment and by collecting data in order to evaluate the extent and nature of the incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries where it occurs.

( 1 ) Council Regulation (EC) No 66/98 of 18 December 1997 laying down certain conservation and control measures applicable to fishing activities in the Antarc repealing Regulation (EC) No 2113/96 (OJ L 6, 10.1.1998) and Council Regulation (EC) No 2479/98 of 12 November 1998 amending Regulation No 66/98 laying down certain conservation and control measures applicable to activities in the Antarctic (OJ L 309, 19.11.1998).

(2001/C 261 E/129)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-0454/01

by Avril Doyle (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(19 February 2001)

Subject: Angling in the European Union

Given that the European Anglers’ Alliance (EEA) is a pan-European organisation with a membership of 6 million anglers across 20 European countries and that the socio-economic value of angling is significant in many rural communities throughout the EU, could the Commission outline why efforts by the EEA to carry out a study of the ‘socio-economic benefits of recreational angling in the European Union’ were not deemed to be of sufficient interest by DG Fisheries?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(23 March 2001)

The Commission is fully aware that sport fishing concerns a large number of people and that it has a major impact on the socio-economic situation of certain coastal areas within the Community. It is precisely because of the importance of the contribution of this activity to the development of certain local economies that it decided to associate the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) more closely with the work of the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, when it discusses subjects of interest to its members. By so doing, the Commission enables the EAA to set out the concerns of sport fishermen and defend their legitimate interests at an appropriate level.

The Commission is not, however, able at present to agree to the request it received to finance the study proposed by the EAA on the socio-economic benefits of angling. This is because the contribution sought substantially exceeds the finance available to the Directorate-General for Fisheries for such socio-economic analyses and because the Commission can make contracts only as a result of a call for tenders.