Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries AND COMMUNITY FISHERIES CONTROL AGENCY (CFCA)

In compliance with EU Treaties, sea fishing is a matter within the exclusive competence of the European Union which, through its institutional bodies (Parliament, Council and Commission), adopts the general and specific rules to be followed by individual Member States in the management of this productive sector.

From the technical point of view, particularly relevant in the context of the European Commission is the role of the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, based in Brussels, Rue Joseph II, 99. Such a body has, in essence, the task of defining, also in agreement with the corresponding services of the Member States, the most important technical measures to ensure full compliance with the goals set under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

This function is exercised by proposing specific regulations to be submitted to the mandatory political screening of the Parliament and the Council, the adoption of its regulations, necessary to implement the provisions of the above mentioned regulations promulgated by the mentioned political bodies, as well as decisions designed to regulate some specific sectors (e.g. red tuna fishing).

The current lead lines of C.F.P. are represented by the following European regulations:

  • Regulation EC n. 1005/2008 (as amended), which introduced a new European regime for the contrast of the activities of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; 
  • Regulation EC n. 1224/2009 which, together with the implementing regulation of the Regulation EU n. 404/2011, has defined a new control system, introducing, among other things, the great new change of the points-based system (in case of severe infringements) for the fishing license;
  • Regulation EU n. 1380/2013 that, recently, has reformulated the objectives of the CFP itself.

With specific regard to the matter of control, from 2005, the European Commission makes use also of the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), based in Vigo (Spain), Avenida Garcia Barbon, 4. Such Agency performs the delicate task of ensuring maximum coordination between the inspection services of the various Member States, so that those necessary standardization processes are developed, that enable full compliance with the CFP.

For more and thorough information, please refer to the following institutional websites: 

Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries:




In the international scene, one of the largest regional organizations of fishing is definitely the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), whose fundamental task is the aim of specific recommendations (of technical-scientific nature) aimed at ensuring the conservation and restoration of some specific fish stocks of pre-eminent international interest.

At European level, Contracting Party of ICCAT is the European Commission itself, which participates in the mentioned decision-making process as much by a delegation of its Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, as the appositely designated delegations of the individual Member States involved (including, of course, Italy). In this context, it should be emphasized that, despite the absence of transposition of European law, ICCAT Recommendations result, in compliance with existing EU Treaties, however binding for Member States, naturally called to implement them in their national legal systems.

Among stocks of ICCAT competence, which are particularly relevant for the Italian fishing boats cluster, red tuna and swordfish must be cited, for which the mentioned international standards have, for several years, established a strict management and conservation regime, providing for catch limits (only for red tuna), allowed periods of fishing, minimum sizes and special fishing permits. Current Recommendations and Regulations are, respectively, n. 13-07 for red tuna and n. 13-04 for swordfish.

The institutional seat of I.C.C.A.T. is in Madrid - Corazon de Maria, 8.

For more and thorough information, please refer to the following institutional website

General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean (GFCM)

With specific regard to the Mediterranean basin, another important Regional Fisheries Organization is the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean (GFCM) whose fundamental task is to promote the development, conservation and rational/ sustainable exploitation of marine resources in the Mediterranean Sea.

Also this body operates through the enactment of appropriate Recommendations and / or Resolutions, with which the EU Member States are obliged to comply, pursuant to and by effect of art. 24, par. 6, of EU Regulation n. 1967/2006/EC.

The headquarters of G.F.C.M. is in Rome, Via Vittoria Colonna, 1.

For more and thorough information, please refer to the following institutional website