Geert Devogel, Departement of Agriculture and Fisheries:
"Flanders wishes to give sea fishing a future. And there will only be a future if our sea can still produce fish tomorrow. We must therefore take care of the fish species present, especially in the North Sea.
That is why the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has set up a Cell Control: among other things, it checks whether the fishing vessels off our coast have the necessary documents to be allowed to operate here for the time being; in other words, whether their presence in our waters is legitimate. But even if the presence of these fishing vessels in Belgian waters is legitimate, this does not mean that these vessels can fish in the way they would like to. Therefore, strict and restrictive measures apply, again to protect the fish stocks present from overfishing and thus secure the future for the entire fisheries sector.
To carry out this mission, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries works together with several coast guard partners such as Fleet, the Navy, the Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models (MUMM), the Maritime and River Police, FPS Finance - Customs and Excise, FPS Mobility and Transport - DG Navigation as well as FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment - Marine Environment Division."
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries translates the European fisheries policy to its own local situation and, in terms of policy, focuses on:
- the allocation of total allowable catches (TACs which are set in national quotas at European level);
- the management of multiannual plans;
- temporary additional measures (TAM) at the Flemish level;
- the implementation of the Fisheries Sustainability Covenant.
In addition, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is responsible for:
- granting the necessary fishing licences and fishing authorisations;
- managing the financial resources from the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF);
- collecting and analysing all kinds of data on the fisheries sector;
- providing figures and publications on the Flemish sea fishing and aquaculture sector (from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries).