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This case study assesses Poland’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 requests. Our key findings and recommendations include:
• that the detection of infringements needs to be more effective; currently infringements are only reported for around 2% for both land and sea inspections;
• that guidance and training need to be issued to control and enforcement authorities so that sanctions are appropriately dissuasive; the data from one region shows that average fines are just €288 (£258) for “serious” infringements;
• that the legal framework should be simplified as it is overly complicated and misleading with a number of cross-references (or lack of thereof) which make the Polish enforcement legislation inconsistent with itself.
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.