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This case study assesses England’s compliance with EU laws for detecting, prosecuting and sanctioning illegal fishing practices by its vessels and in its waters. It is based on a combination of desk-based research, interviews with key stakeholders and freedom of information request. Our key findings and recommendations include:
• that the approach to the detection of infringements must be reinforced, for example through guidance and trainings;
• that the level of sanctions should be set at dissuasive levels, following the amendment of the enforcement strategies of the competent control authorities and the publication of new sentencing guidelines for magistrates;
• that the guidance published by the Marine Management Organisation on the implementation of the penalty point system should be reviewed to bring it in line with the EU requirements;
• that the competent authorities take a commitment to maintain a comprehensive control framework after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
This report is part of a series of case studies on the control and enforcement of fisheries in Europe, with other case studies including in England, the Republic of Ireland and Poland. A summary report brings together findings from all four countries to make broader recommendations.