Title: Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) – Review of the implementation of the shark finning regulation and assessment of the impact of the 2009 European Community Action Plan for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (STECF-19-17)
Editors: WALKER PATRICIA
PINTO CECILIA
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC119051
ISBN: 978-92-76-11287-7 (online)
ISSN: 1831-9424 (online),2467-0715
Other Identifiers: EUR 28359 EN
OP KJ-AX-19-017-EN-N (online)
URI: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC119051
DOI: 10.2760/487997
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Commission Decision of 25 February 2016 setting up a Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries, C(2016) 1084, OJ C 74, 26.2.2016, p. 4–10. The Commission may consult the group on any matter relating to marine and fisheries biology, fishing gear technology, fisheries economics, fisheries governance, ecosystem effects of fisheries, aquaculture or similar disciplines. This report is from the EWG 19-17 Sharks which met in Ispra between 7th and 11th October 2019 to review the implementation of the shark finning regulation and to assess the impact of the 2009 European Community Action Plan for the Conservation and Management of sharks (CPOA). The EWG 19-17 carried out four tasks: (1) a review of the MS national finning reports to assess data and reporting gaps, the overall quality of the reports and to identify any reporting shortcomings; (2) to comment, to the extent possible, on any implementation issues of the Fins Naturally Attached Policy by Member States, both for vessels operating in the EU waters and outside of EU waters; (3) a review of how the CPOA has been implemented; and (4) advise on the impacts that EU fisheries have had on shark populations worldwide, particularly in relation to the objectives of the CPOA. EU fisheries continue to represent a major proportion of reported international landings of elasmobranchs. Three Member States (Spain, Portugal and France) are among the world’s 20 largest fishing nations reporting landings of elasmobranchs to FAO during the period 2008–2017. The reports submitted by the Member States had differing levels of compliance with the Finning Regulation. In the review of these national finning reports the EWG found several issues that hampered the analysis carried out. These issues were related in some instances to the lack of specificity in the Regulation. In others, some additional information, currently non mandatory according to the Regulation, but considered by the EWG as being of utmost importance for the assessment of the implementation was identified. Examination of the MS reporting of the fins naturally attached policy revealed it has been well-implemented in EU waters, with only 14 cases of non-compliance in the past five years. Closer examination of the reports revealed a lack of coverage of the compliance of the fins naturally attached policy in waters outside the EU and a lack of information on the fleet segment catching sharks which the EWG noted as shortcomings as this made it difficult for the EWG to examine of the distribution of the EU fleets and the fishing practice in detail. There we no instances of non-compliance by the EU fleet outside EU waters in relation to the shark finning regulation in the Convention Areas reported by any of the RFMOs. Compliance is monitored against the Conservation and Management Measures of each Commission which include requirements to ensure compliance with the finning prohibition in force. Although EU vessels should always be assessed against the ‘fins naturally attached’ criterion, no objective, quantitative information was available to the EWG to evaluate this and the EWG could not evaluate any progress in waters beyond national jurisdiction. Noting the difficulty of assessing how the fins naturally attached policy is implemented outside EU waters, the EWG has formulated some suggestions to address this. The EWG notes that only one MS has registered a framework for the management of sharks under a the CPOA (UK National Plan of Action). Although many countries have management and conservation measures for elasmobranchs, these may not be registered at the EU level. An improved visibility of national approaches and a regional approach, including cooperation with RFMOs have been suggested by the EWG, with the Mediterranean ranked as highest priority. The EWG considers that in the past 10 years progress in management and conservation of sharks has been made as measured against the potential “objectively verifiable indicators” defined in the European Community Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks Impact Assessment from 2009. However, it has been suggested by the EWG that a revision of the current CPOA is carried out because some elements of the CPOA are now obsolete (i.e. the actions on fins-naturally attached) and many of the identified actions do not have targets with measurable indicators and time bound targets against which to assess progress through time.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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