Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 on the conservation of fishery resources and the protection of marine ecosystems through technical measures

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Publication Date 25/07/2019
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Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 restructuring the framework for fisheries technical measures.

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This Regulation lays down technical measures concerning the taking and landing of fisheries resources, as well as the operation of fishing gears and the interaction of fishing activities with marine ecosystems. It aims at optimising the contribution of technical measures to achieving the key objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), in order to make them more flexible by facilitating regionalised approaches and to simplify the existing rules.

The proposal was presented in March 2016 by the European Commission. The Council of the European Union adopted its general approach on 11 May 2017, and the European Parliament adopted its negotiating position on 16 January 2018. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text was reached on 13 February 2019, following a lengthy period of trilogue negotiations. The Parliament formally endorsed it on 16 April, followed by the Council on 13 June.


Technical measures are rules governing how and where fishermen may fish. They aim to control the catch that can be taken with a given amount of fishing effort and also to minimise the impacts of fishing on the ecosystem. They form an integral part of the regulatory framework of most fisheries management systems including within Union waters.

European fisheries legislation has been populated with numerous regulations, amendments, implementing rules and temporary technical measures throughout the years, aimed at closing gaps and resolving emerging problems. The regulatory structure has become highly complex and somewhat disjointed. A retrospective evaluation carried out to support this initiative shows the existing technical measures have not largely delivered on the laid out objectives.

The new Regulation principally changes the governance structure of technical measures rather than making wholesale changes to the measures themselves. It amends Regulations (EC) No 1967/2006, (EC) No 1098/2007, (EC) No 1224/2009, (EU) No 1343/2011 and (EU) No 1380/2013, and repeals Regulations (EC) No 894/97, (EC) No 850/98, (EC) No 2549/2000, (EC) No 254/2002, (EC) No 812/2004 and (EC) No 2187/2005.

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Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, June 2016: Fisheries technical measures [Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment]
European Maritime Affairs & Fisheries, No.71, June 2016: Less is more
EPRS: At a Glance, January 2018: New framework for fisheries technical measures
EPRS: Briefing, April 2019: Overhauling fisheries technical measures [EU Legislation in Progress]

Euronews, 16/01/2018: EU Parliament votes to ban electric pulse fishing, 16/01/2018: Dutch trawlers may face pulse fishing ban as EU parliament says no
France24, 16/01/2018: Defying Brussels, EU parliament calls for ban on electric pulse fishing
The Guardian, 17/01/2018: European parliament votes to end electric pulse fishing
EurActiv, 14/02/2019: EU approves ban on electric pulse fishing from 2021

EUR-Lex: COM(2016)134: Proposal for a Regulation on the conservation of fishery resources and the protection of marine ecosystems through technical measures
EUR-Lex: SWD(2016)57: Impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2016)56: Executive summary of the impact assessment
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on conservation of fishery resources and protection of marine ecosystems through technical measures
European Parliament: Legislative Train: Fisheries technical measures
European Commission: Fisheries: Technical measures
European Commission: Press Release, 11/03/2016: Commission decentralises and simplifies technical conservation measures
European Commission: Fact Sheet, 11/03/2016: Questions and answers: Commission decentralises and simplifies technical conservation measures in fisheries
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 11/05/2017: Conservation of fisheries through technical measures: deal on Council negotiating position
European Parliament: Press Release, 16/01/2018: New fisheries rules: add a ban on electric pulse fishing, say MEPs
European Commission: Press Release, 13/02/2019: Fisheries: Commission welcomes provisional political agreement on new technical conservation measures
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 22/02/2019: Technical measures in fisheries: Council confirms deal with the EP
European Commission: Fisheries: Press Release, 16/04/2019: Fisheries: Commission welcomes adoption of new technical conservation measures
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 13/06/2019: Final greenlight on new technical and conservation measures in fisheries

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