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Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority Undertakes Joint Inspections with Belgian Authorities

Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority Undertakes Joint Inspections with Belgian Authorities

Fish offloaded, weighed and sold at auction in Belgium, under the supervision of Belgian officials

As part of the measures to implement the Common Control Plan in place between Belgium and Ireland, the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) has been operating joint inspections with the Belgian Fisheries Authorities (DEPARTEMENT LANDBOUW EN VISSERIJ).

The Common Control Plan facilities the first sale of fish in Belgium where the fish has been landed into ports in Ireland and transported prior to weighing. This plan is approved by the EU Commission and implemented jointly by Authorities in Ireland and Belgium.

Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers (SFPOs) in SFPA’s port offices in Howth, Dunmore East, and Clonakilty, have recently undertaken a number of joint inspections where vessels were first inspected at landing in Ireland - the transport units were then sealed by the inspecting SFPOs. Following arrival in Belgium, the transport units were met by Belgian officials who then removed the seals and supervised the unloading and weighing of the fish. This process is to ensure that the consignment arrives, uncompromised and as originally recorded, to its destination for follow up inspection and verification checks.

An SFPA spokesperson said:

“Joint operations are necessary to verify compliance with the Common Control Plan and fisheries legislation and the SFPA welcomes the co-operation of the Belgian Fisheries Authorities. Protecting the long-term viability and health of our marine ecosystems and ensuring long-term sustainability for our fishing industries and communities is an issue of significance not only here in Ireland but across Europe. Our work with the Belgian Authorities is a critical element in supporting the overall remit of the SFPA to ensure the sustainability and future viability of Ireland’s sea-fisheries and marine resources.”