The EU’s new IT tool, christened CATCH, has been launched as a route to streamlining checks on seafood products entering the EU, and is seen as the latest effort in the global fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Launched at last week’s European Seafood Exposition, CATCH was presented by Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella.
‘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,’ he said. ‘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 is 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 is designed to digitalise the current paper-based certification scheme, and it will support Member States in their IUU fishery-related verification tasks and help reduce the risk of fraud, facilitate trade flows, and reduce the burden on operators and administrations.