In the continued efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishery (IUU) globally, Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will launch the EU’s first IT tool, called “CATCH”, conceived to streamline the checks of seafood products entering the EU market. The launch will take place at the Seafood Expo on 7 May at 15:00 (European Commission stand: Hall 7 – 1411).
Commissioner Vella said: “The EU is a global leader in the fight against illegal fishing. Access to the EU – the world’s biggest seafood market – is an important asset in convincing governments and exporters around the world to respect the rules protecting against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishery fishing. With the CATCH initiative, we are making it easier to control that only illegal, unreported and unregulated fishery-free products enter our market. We are making it simpler to take care of our ocean and our consumers”.
The catch certification scheme was established to protect the EU market against products stemming from illegal fishing. Certificates are required for each consignment of fishery products entering the EU territory, ensuring that fishery products from third countries come from legal sources. CATCH will digitalise the current paper-based certification scheme. CATCH will support Member States in their illegal, unreported and unregulated fishery-related verification tasks and help reduce the risk of fraud, facilitate the trade flows, and reduce the burden on operators and administrations.
Sea Food Expo
Seafood Expo, from 7 to 9 May, is the world’s largest trade fair in the fisheries sector, with 1,850 exhibitors from 79 countries. Apart from the launch of CATCH tool, the Commission’s stand will host several information sessions on topics such as research and innovation in fisheries and aquaculture, fisheries control, and consumer information. Visitors can also experiment with an interactive web mapping application, The European Atlas of the Seas, customising their own marine and coastal maps.