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South Pacific regional fisheries management organisation: international measures become EU law

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By Milthon Lujan

On 26 February 2018 the Council reached an agreement with the European Parliament on how to incorporate into EU legislation measures adopted by the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO).

The agreed regulation laying down management, conservation and control measures applicable in the convention area of SPRFMO applies to EU fishing vessels fishing in the SPRFMO convention area or, in the case of transhipments, to the species caught in the SPRFMO convention area. It also applies to third country fishing vessels that access EU ports and that carry fishery products harvested in the convention area.

“The active role of the EU in international fisheries management organisations and today’s agreement are evidence of Europe’s commitment to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources around the world.” said Rumen Porodzanov, Minister of agriculture, food and forestry of the Republic of Bulgaria and President of the Council.

The agreed regulation fully takes into account the latest decision taken at the sixth meeting of the SPRFMO Commission (COMM6) in Lima, Peru, from 30 January to 3 February 2018.

The SPRFMO is an inter-governmental organisation that is committed to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources of the South Pacific Ocean. The European Union is a contracting party. Currently, the main commercial resources fished in the SPRFMO area are Jack mackerel and jumbo flying squid in the Southeast Pacific and, to a much lesser degree, deep-sea species often associated with seamounts in the Southwest Pacific.

Next steps

The agreement still needs to be approved by EU ambassadors sitting in the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper). After formal endorsement by the Council, the new legislation will be submitted to the European Parliament for a vote at first reading and to the Council for final adoption.

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The regulation will then enter into force on the third day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

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