Members' Research Service By / November 8, 2019

Revising the fisheries control system [EU Legislation in Progress]

The EU fisheries control system is a key part of the common fisheries policy (CFP), aimed at ensuring compliance with CFP rules.

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Written by Frederik Scholaert (4th edition, updated on 26.06.2023),

At the political trilogue meeting of 30 May 2023, the co-legislators reached agreement on revising the EU fisheries control system. The new legislation is a complete overhaul of the current system. It amends five regulations, of which Council Regulation (EC) 1224/2009 (the Control Regulation) forms the core of the EU fisheries control system. The deal is the result of a long process. In May 2018, the Commission tabled the proposal as the last major component of the 2013 revision of the common fisheries policy. The European Parliament and the Council adopted their positions in March and June 2021 respectively, after which interinstitutional negotiations started. The agreement was reached during the twelfth political trilogue meeting.

Some of the main changes introduced by the proposal and supported in the agreement include tracking of all fishing vessels, electronic reporting of all catches, monitoring of recreational fisheries, improving (digital) traceability along the supply chain and harmonising sanctions across the EU. On control of the landing obligation via on-board closed-circuit television cameras for vessels at high risk of non‑compliance, the co-legislators agreed that this provision would only apply to vessels of 18 metres length or more. Parliament and Council also agreed on more flexibile tolerance margins as regards catch weight estimates on‑board, in particular for small pelagic and tuna species.

The agreement is scheduled to be put to a vote in the Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries meeting of 27 June 2023, after which the text of the agreement would need to be formally adopted by the Parliament and Council.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009, and amending Council Regulations (EC) No 768/2005, (EC) No 1967/2006, (EC) No 1005/2008, and Regulation (EU) No 2016/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards fisheries control
Committee responsible:Fisheries (PECH)COM(2018) 368, 30.5.2018.
Rapporteur:Clara Aguilera (S&D, Spain)2018/0193(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Francisco José Millán Mon (EPP, Spain); Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew, Spain); Grace O’Sullivan (Greens/EFA, Ireland); Rosanna Conte (ID, Italy); Bert-Jan Ruissen (ECR, the Netherlands); João Pimenta Lopes (The Left, Portugal)Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Final adoption of the text at first reading

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