Fisheries control systems including surveillance, inspections, data collection and enforcement are conducted by the EU member states through their national authorities and inspectors. The EU Commission conducts controls by dispatching Community inspectors to check on member states´ control activities and to ensure that EU rules are being followed. The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), established in 2005, coordinates the EU member state’s fisheries control and inspection activities and provides assistance in the application of the CFP.
To oversee the implementation of the EU Common Fisheries Policy a control system was established in 2010 and is laid down in the EC Control Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009). The control system aims at e.g. making sure that no more than allowed amounts of fish are caught and that rules and sanctions are applied to all fisheries consistently, as well as enabling the traceability of fisheries products in the supply chain and collecting data for managing fishing opportunities.
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem. The effects of IUU fisheries include reduced amounts of fish stocks, damage to marine ecosystems and loss of species, biodiversity and productivity, as well as economic loss. In the Baltic Sea problems related to IUU fishing have appeared in particularly with cod fisheries. ICES has stated that the official catch statistics of cod have been revised by 30-40% because of unreported and illegal catches in recent years in the Baltic Sea. The EU Regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) entered into force in January 2010.
In the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan the competent authorities are urged to take actions for immediate elimination of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fisheries and further development of landing control and other measures, taking into account the outcome of the Baltic RAC Conference on Control and Compliance in the Baltic in March 2007.