Ireland told to investigate fisheries regulatory shortcomings
Ireland has been officially asked by the European Commission to conduct an administrative inquiry to evaluate its capacity to implement the rules of the E.U. common fisheries policy (CFP). The country has been given three months to conduct this inquiry.
The commission’s request follows the detection of “severe and significant weaknesses” in the Irish control system during an audit carried out in 2018.
Principally, it identified shortcomings related to the effective control of the weighing of catches of small pelagic species, issues related to underreporting of catches of these species, the inadequate and ineffective sanctioning system for offences committed by operators and the lack of control and enforcement of bluefin tuna catches by recreational vessels.
The commission said the administrative inquiry should focus on the collection of information on these specific findings to enable it to further evaluate Ireland's capacity to apply the rules of the CFP and to assess the potential consequences of any failure to do so.
The three-month inquiry period may be extended by the commission for “a reasonable delay,” based on a duly reasoned request from Ireland. After that, the commission will analyze the information provided by Ireland and identify if any further steps or actions are needed.
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