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Sport fishing licenses

No license is required for sport fishing unless a vessel is used to conduct such fishing operations (Article 23 of Law No. 7908 of 1995). Sport fishing licenses are issued to sport fishing associations or interested persons provided that they show evidence that they meet qualification requirements to carry out sport fishing activities. A licensed association or person may be authorized under the same license to use several vessels. Areas of activity are specified in the license (Article 9 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007).


Commercial fishing licences

Principle

Use of any fishing vessel, whether national or foreign, for professional fishing in Albanian waters is subject to a licensing system. Likewise, “any other entity” wishing to conduct professional fishing operations within Albanian waters without using any vessel is required to first obtain a fishing license (Article 15.1 of Law No. 7908 of 1995). It should be noted that the term professional fishingis defined as encompassing all types of fishing operations for economical purposes, thus including both industrial and artisanal fishing (Article 3.c of Law No. 7908 of 1995). In Albania, industrial fishing means all forms of professional fishing by means of trawl nets or purse seine nets, whereas artisanal fishing covers all forms of professional fishing by means of fixed or selective fishing gear such as hooks, fixed nets, trammel or gill nets  (Article 1.39 of Fisheries Regulations No.1 of 2005).

No person can use an Albanian vessel to fish outside Albanian waters without having first obtained a special authorization to do so (Article 16.3 of Law No. 7908 of 1995). A special authorization can be granted only to a vessel that complies with seaworthiness and safety requirements. In addition, prior to granting a special authorization to a vessel which was previously registered in a foreign country, the competent authority must give due consideration to the vessel past behaviour in order to determine whether it has breached the law of that country and/or undermined international conservation and management measures on the high seas. In case the vessel is reported as a frequent violator of fisheries laws and regulations of third countries and/or of international conservation and management measures on the high seas, it shall be denied the granting of a special authorization, except where the owner or the master of the vessel has no connection with the previous owner or master of the vessel (Article 65.4 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005).

A license is also required for any person wishing to undertake any activity related to fishing, including transportation of fish or other aquatic species or any other supporting activities such as refuelling or supplying of a fishing vessel. However, related fishing activities do not include fish processing (Article 17 of Law No. 7908 of 1995). 

Access to fisheries resources within Albanian waters by foreign fishing vessels is authorized:

  • (a) through fisheries access agreements concluded between governments of other countries or international fishing organizations and the Republic of Albania; or

  • (b) in cases where the issuing of fishing licenses to foreign fishing vessels:

    • (i) is considered beneficial for Albanian economy, in particular where the applicant is committed to undertaking investments in the fishery sector;

    • (ii) is viewed as necessary to ensure sustainable use of fishery resources, taking into account the capacity of the national fishing fleet and its development;

    • (iii) complies with the objectives of the fishery and aquaculture administration plan and with those of the Albanian policy on foreign investments (Article 19.1 of Law No. 7908 of 1995).

No licenses can be issued to foreign fishing vessels in a co-management area unless it is expressly provided for in the relevant co-management plan (Article 19.4 of Law No. 7908 of 1995).

No licenses can be issued to foreign fishing vessels for demersal fishing with trawls and fishing and/or collection of bivalve molluscs

In fisheries co-management areas, licensing is contingent upon decisions made at the local level as reflected in the fisheries co-management plan (Article 31/18 of Law No. 7908 of 1995).

Types of licences

A professional fishing license may be issued in respect of a fishing vessel or an individual for the use of a specific fishing gear, in particular fixed or stationary gear. In Albania, lawmakers have made a distinction between fishing vessels equipped with a deck and those with no deck. A separate fishing license is required for each vessel equipped with a deck whereas a single fishing licence may be granted for the use of several vessels with no deck provided that their names are specified in the license (Article 3 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007).

Prerequisites to application

To be eligible for a professional fishing license, every individual or every fishing vessel in respect of which such a license is sought must first comply with registration requirements provided for under Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007.

Application

Where applying for a professional fishing license, any individual or owner of a fishing vessel must submit an application form to the Directorate of Fisheries Policies together with a certificate of registration (fishing vessel) issued by the Port Authority and a certificate of seaworthiness issued by the Sea Register, if applicable (Article 4 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007). The application must be submitted to the Directorate of Fisheries at least one month prior to the Licensing Board next meeting (Article 4 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007).

Issuance

Licenses for professional fishing are issued by the Minister responsible for fisheries on the proposal of the Licensing Board. The Licensing Board, which consists of at least five members of the Directorate of Fisheries appointed by the Minister responsible for fisheries, reviews license applications submitted to the Directorate of Fisheries together with the required documents in order to determine whether all requested information have been provided. Upon approval, the Licensing Board proposes to the Minister the names of individuals and vessels to which a license for professional fishing can be issued (Article 19 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007). 
In order to renew a professional fishing license, the holder of the license must submit an application form to the Directorate of Fisheries together with the requested statistical data. Failure to provide such data would result in refusal to renew the license (Article 10 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007).

Licence Fees

In Albania, annual license fees are determined in relation to the vessel’s engine power and the type of gear used on board (Law No. 8435 of 28 December 1998, modified with Law 8713 of 15 December 2000). A distinction is drawn between vessels operating in coastal areas (internal waters, shallow waters) and those operating further out to sea.

Transfer

Transfer of a professional fishing license is subject to an authorization from the Directorate of fisheries. Such a transfer can be allowed only in the event that: (a) the vessel to which the license was issued has ceased to operate; and (b) the vessel to which it is to be transferred presents similar technical characteristics (Article 22 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007).

Conditions

When issuing or renewing a professional fishing license, the Minister responsible for fisheries may impose conditions on the use of the license with respect to, inter alia, fishing zones, fishing gear that can be used, information and statistical data to be provided and the boarding of observers.

Cancellation

A professional fishing license is cancelled with a decision by the Ministry Authority in the case that: the license holder dye (in the case of a single person holder) or the holder society become bankrupt (in the case of society holder); 2 sanctions are charged in one year, but only with the proposal of the local authority; the holder (single individual or society) is condemned for illegal activities with the proposal of the local inspector (Article 29 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007); the charged sanctions are not paid (Article 34/40 of Law No. 7908 of 1995). 

Scientific research authorization

The carrying out of scientific research activities within Albanian waters is subject to an authorization from the Ministry responsible for fisheries on the advice of the Commission for Scientific and Technological Coordination (Article 10 of Law No. 7908 of 1995). No entity other than those officially recognized as research entities by the Minister responsible for fisheries are entitled to apply for a scientific research authorization (Article 11 of Law No. 7908 of 1995). In order to qualify as a research entity, the applicant must be a legal entity and show evidence that its staff satisfies qualification requirements in the relevant fields of expertise (Article 12 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007).

Sport fishing licenses

No license is required for sport fishing unless a vessel is used to conduct such fishing operations (Article 23 of Law No. 7908 of 1995). Sport fishing licenses are issued to sport fishing associations or interested persons provided that they show evidence that they meet qualification requirements to carry out sport fishing activities. A licensed association or person may be authorized under the same license to use several vessels. Areas of activity are specified in the license (Article 9 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007).

 Definition of terms

Inclusion of definitions of key concepts and terms in basic fisheries legislation is primarily designed to facilitate the good understanding of the Act and thus avoid any problem of interpretation in implementing the provisions of this Act. In addition, it enables lawmakers to modify (restrict or broaden) the meaning of common words for the specific purpose of the Act and implementing regulations. For instance, the meaning of the word fish is commonly broadened so as to include not only fish, but also crustaceans, molluscs and other types of aquatic organisms.

Key concepts and terms that are examined in this chapter are as follows: national waters, aquatic species, fishing, commercial fishing, artisanal fishing, fishing vessel, national vessel, foreign vessel.

In Albania, lawmakers have combined the definitions of both terms waters of the Republic of Albania and aquatic species to determine the scope of Law No. 7908 of 1995. The geographical scope of the law, which is defined by the former, extends to both maritime and inland waters under national jurisdiction thus indicating that the law is conceived to regulate both marine and inland fishing activities. Territorial jurisdiction over fisheries resources may also extend to “any other area reserved exclusively for the Republic of Albania” beyond Albanian territorial waters. The latter determines the species that are covered by the law. The term aquatic species, provided for under Article 3.d of Law No. 7908 of 1995, is broadly defined as it covers both aquatic fauna and flora, whether living or dead, at every stage of their life cycle. It includes “fishes, crustaceans, shellfishes, corals, sponges, amphibians, aquatic reptiles, aquatic mammals and other species, except fowls”. By excluding fowls from the definition, lawmakers make clear that the law also applies to aquatic birds.

The concept of fishing, which is defined as “every activity conducted for catching or collecting aquatic species, except those resulting from aquaculture activities irrespective of the means used and catch results” (Article 3.b of Law No. 7908 of 1995), is strictly limited to the taking and harvesting of aquatic species thus excluding the searching for fish from fishing activities.

The definition of the term vessel is crucial especially in countries where access to fisheries is based on a licensing system linked to the vessel. Albanian basic fisheries law contains three definitions related to this concept, namely navigating vessel, Albanian vesseland foreign vessel. It is interesting to note that no definition of fishing vessel is provided for under the law. The term navigating vessel covers the entire range of ships, boats or floating devices used for navigation purposes (Article 3rd of Law No. 7908 of 1995). Since Albanian and foreign vessels are subject to separate legal regimes, it was necessary to include a precise definition of both these terms. To be regarded as an Albanian vessel for fisheries purposes, a vessel must be owned by:

  • any physical persons with Albanian citizenship living in Albania;

  • any juridical persons, established in the Republic of Albania in conformity with legislation in force;

  • any other entity distinct from a juridical person, including exclusively physical persons with Albanian citizenship, living in Albania and registered in conformity with legislation and regulations in force (Article 3a of Law No. 7908).

Vessels that do not meet the above-mentioned criteria fall into the category of foreign vessels.

Professional fishing entails all fishing activities for economical purposes and includes both industrial and artisanal fishing activities. Differentiation between industrial and artisanal fishing is based on the type of fishing gear used by the license holder. All forms of trawling and purse seining, irrespective of the technical characteristics of the nets that are used, are regarded as industrial fishing activities. Artisanal fishing on the other hand covers all forms of fishing activities by means of fixed or selective gear such as hooks, fixed nets, trammel net and gill net  (Article 1.39-1.45 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007).

 Conservation and management measures

This chapter examines, for each country studied in this paper, conservation and management measures that have been adopted to implement national policies for responsible conservation of fisheries resources and fisheries management and development.

Planning instruments

a) National fisheries plans

Law No. 7908 of 1995 establishes two planning instruments for the conservation, management and development of fisheries resources, namely the Fishery and Aquaculture Administrative Plan and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Plan (Articles 8 and 9).

The Fishery and Aquaculture Administrative Plan, which is conceived as a dynamic instrument, aims to ensure that fishing effort is commensurate with available fisheries resources. To this end, the plan determines: (i) on the basis of the scientific evidence available, the state of fisheries resources in Albanian waters; (ii) the objectives to be achieved; (iii) fishing methods and gear to be used in relation to fishing areas and target species; (iv) the number of licenses to be issued in respect of fishing areas and/or species; (v) other restrictions to fishing (Article 9 of Fisheries Regulations No. 2 of 2007). It is prepared and reviewed periodically by the Directorate of Fisheries on the advice of the Central Consultative Commission for Fishery and Aquaculture (Article 8 of Law No. 7908).

The Fishery and Aquaculture Development Plan is a financial instrument designed to allocate funds available in a manner consistent with the objectives set out in the Fishery and Aquaculture Administrative Plan.

b) Co-management plans

Law No. 8870 of 21 March 2002 amending the basic fisheries law provides for the establishment of fisheries co-management areas. On the written request of a fisheries management organization, the Minister responsible for fisheries may designate any area within Albanian waters to be a fisheries co-management area. In such an area, one or more fisheries management organizations are involved in the devising of conservation and management measures, licensing and enforcement. Within twelve months of the designation of a co-management area, a fisheries co-management plan for the area must be prepared jointly by the Directorate of Fisheries and the relevant fisheries management organization(s). Such a plan must: (i) contain an analysis of the state of the fisheries; (ii) identify the short, medium and long term objectives; (iii) define strategies to achieve identified objectives; (iv) identify sources of funding for implementing and enforcing management measures; (v) contain performance indicators and formal review mechanism; and (vi) comply with any national fisheries management plan (Article 31/16).

Commercial fishing

a)  Fishing effort and capacity

Based on the decisions made in the framework of the Fishery and Aquaculture Administrative Plan, the Minister responsible for fisheries sets out annually the maximum number of licenses that can be issued for commercial fishing in Albanian waters. He/she may, under special circumstances, modify that number even if his/her decision conflicts with the provisions of the Fishery and Aquaculture Administrative Plan. In fisheries co-management areas, the number of fishing licenses to be issued therein is determined in the fisheries co-management plan (Article 15 of Law No. 7908 of 1995).

No fishing license can be issued to foreign vessels for the taking of demersal species by means of trawl nets or for the harvesting of bivalve molluscs (Article 20 of Law No. 7809 of 1995).

It can be inferred from Article 24.1a, prohibiting fishing in excess of set quantities of fish, that Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and/or individual quotas can be determined in fisheries management plans.

No license permitting the use of trawl nets can be granted to any vessel whose engine power is more than 1000 Hp and less than 150 Hp (Article 57 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005).

b) Prohibited fishing zones

The Minister responsible for fisheries may designate areas in which any kind of fishing activities is strictly prohibited (Article 43 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005).

Fishing is prohibited within a one-kilometre radius measured from the point where rivers empty into the sea and within a two-kilometre radius for the Buna River (Article 40.2 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 1997).

Fishing is strictly prohibited in channels linking lagoons to the sea and within a two-kilometre radius measured from the point where the channel meets with the sea (Article 43 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005).

c) Fishing gear

Fishing is prohibited with trail net (bottom and pelagic)/ or similar on the Posidonia oceanica yard or marine fanerogames (Article 44 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005)

It is prohibited to use an attractive tart for fishing: (i) at depth less than 30 m; and (ii) in the Bay of Vlora (Article 44 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005) and any attractive tart in the form of traps and drags (Article 44 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005). 

Minimum mesh sizes of nets are set out as follows:

– 40 mm for trawl nets (cod end);
– 16 mm for purse seiners used to catch sardines, anchovies and other small pelagic fish (cod end);
– 20 mm for purse seiners used to catch sardines, anchovies and other small pelagic fish (in other parts of the net); and
– 48 mm for trammel net and gill net used in coastal areas (Article 59 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005).

d) Fishing methods

Use of explosives, chemicals, poisonous substances or electrical devices for fishing purposes is strictly prohibited (Article 24.1b of Law No. 7908 of 1997).

e) Juveniles

The taking of eggs, spawns, larvae, fingerlings or juveniles is prohibited without a special authorization to do so (Article 24.1a of Law No. 7908 of 1995).

f) Minimum size

It is strictly prohibited to fish and sell any aquatic species less than the minimum regulatory size as set out in Article 51.1 of Fisheries Regulations No.1 of 2005 (Table 2).

Table 2 summarizing minimum size of aquatic species

Species (local or common name)

Species (scientific name)

Sminimun size in cm or minimum weight in kg

1. FISH      
Merluc   Merluccius merluccius   20 cm
Merluci tripendesh   Microsistius spp., Trisopterus spp., Gaidropsarus spp.   20 cm
Seabass   Dicentrarchus labrax   25 cm
Mullet   Mugil spp., Liza spp., Chelon spp.   20 cm
Seabream   Sparus aurata   20 cm
Pagria   Pagrus pagrus   20 cm
Saragojte   Diplodus spp.   15 cm
Spalcat   Pagellus spp.   12 cm
Dentalet   Dentex spp.   25 cm
Vopa   Boops boops   10 cm
Salpa   Sarpa salpa   12 cm
Barbunet   Mullus spp.   11 cm
Kerrat   Epinephelus spp., Polyprion spp.   45 cm
Korbet   Sciaena spp., Umbrina spp.   25 cm
Stavridat   Trachurus spp.   12 cm
Gofat   Seriola spp.   30 cm
Ame   Lichia amia   30 cm
Skumret   Scomber spp.   20 cm
Pallamidi   Sarda sarda   30 cm
Sardines   Sardina pilchardus   10 cm
Acuga   Engraulis encrasicholus   10 cm
Sardinela   Sardnella aurita    12 cm
Shproti (papalina)   Sprattus sprattus   10 cm
Kublat   Alosa fallax   20 cm
Maridhat   Spicara spp.   8 cm
Ton   Thunnus thynnus   70 cm
Alalunga ton   Thunnus alalunga   40 cm
Tonili   Euthynnus alletteratus   30 cm
Peshku shpate   Xiphias gladius   100 cm
Peshku pellumb   Mustelus spp.   30 cm
Sharks   Squalus spp., Scyliorhinus spp., Prionace spp.   40 cm
Rajat   Raja spp.   30 cm
Skathinat   Squatina spp.   40 cm
Electric fish   Torpedo spp.   30cm
Ngjale deti   Conger conger   30 cm
Peshqit kitare   Rhinobatos spp.   30 cm
Gjuhezat   Solea spp.   20 cm
Shojza   Platichthys flessus   15 cm
Shkotrat   Bothus spp., Arnoglossus spp.    30 cm
Rombet   Scophthalmus spp., Psetta spp., Lepidorhombus spp.   30 cm
Jatagani   Lepidopus caudatus   40 cm
Shtiza   Sphyraena spp.   25 cm
Peshku kovac   Zeus faber   15 cm
Peshk gjel   Trigla spp., Aspitriglia spp.   15 cm
Lopa e detit   Lophius piscarorius   30 cm
Aterinat   Atherina spp.   8 cm
Ngjala   Anguilla anguilla   25 cm
Trofta ylberi   Onchorhinchus mykias   25 cm
Trofta e eger   Salmo trutta   20 cm
Koran   Salmo letnica   25 cm
Belushka   Salmothymus ohridanus   15 cm
Gjuca (cironka)   Alburnus spp.   10 cm
Njila (skobuzi)   Chondrostoma spp.   15 cm
Skortet   Rutilus spp.   12 cm
Mustaket   Barbus spp.   25 cm
Mrenat   Cobitis spp.   25 cm
Mlyshet   Leuciscius spp.   15 cm
Bordullaket   Gobius spp.   15 cm
Karaset   Carassius spp.   15 cm
2. CRUSTACEANS     
Karkaleci I detit   Panaeus kerathurus   7 cm
Karkaleci violete   Aristeus antennatus   7 cm
Karkaleci I kuq   Aristaemorpha foliacea   6 cm
Karkaleci I bardhe   Parapenaeus norvegius   10 cm
Skampi   Nephrops norvegicus   30 cm
Homaret (asticet)   Homarus spp.   30 cm
3. CEPHALOPODS     
Kallamaret   Loligo spp.   25 cm
Totanet   Ilex spp.   30 cm
Sepia   Sepia officinalis   20 cm
Octopus   Octopus vulgaris   0.5 kg
4. MOLLUSKS   
Midhja   Mytilus galloprovincialis   5 cm
Vongola   Venus gallina   2.3 cm
Tartufi I detit   Venus verrucosa   2.7 cm
Telini   Donax trunculus   2.2 cm
Vongola verace   Ruditapes decussatus   3.6 cm
Vongola filipine   Ruditapes semidecussatus   3 cm
Ostrea   Ostrea spp.   6 cm
Bicaku   Solen spp.   8 cm
Freskorja   Pecten jacobeus   10 cm
Fasolari   Challista chione   6 cm

Incidental catch of undersized individuals of sardines, acuga, papalina and cironka can make up to 20% of total catch where such individuals are caught by means of purse seine nets, provided that they are not less than 7 cm (Article 51.2 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005).

Incidental catch of undersized bivalve molluscs is tolerated insofar as it does not represent more 10% of the total catch (Article 51.3 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005).

g)    Protected species

It is prohibited, at any time, throughout Albanian waters to take any individual of the following species: sturgeons (Acipenser sturio,Acipenser nacarili), sharks (Cetorhinus maximus, Hexanchus griseu, Alopiidae; Carcharhinidae; Sphyrnidae; Isuridae; Lamnidae), lopa e detit (Mobula mobular) and bivalve mussels (Litophaga lithophaga). Likewise, no person is allowed for whatever purposes to take any sea mammals, including dolphins, whales and seals, within Albanian waters (Article 48 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005).

The taking of coral and sponges is prohibited at any time throughout Albanian waters, except for scientific research purposes (Article 22 of Law No. 7908 of 1995).

h)    Fishing seasons

Closed seasons for V-shaped traps, also known as lavoriero, are set as follows (Article 46 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005):

  •  from 15 March to 31 August in Shkodra

  • from 15 March to 30 September in Viluni and Patogut

  • from 10 March to 31 July in Merxhan and Ceka

  • from 5 March to 5 May in Karavasta

  • from 10 February to 10 April in Narta

  • from 15 March to 15 June in Orikum

  • from 1 April to 30 June in Butrint

i)     Bivalve molluscs

In 2000, the Minister responsible for fisheries adopted fisheries regulations governing the taking of bivalve molluscs further emended by Fisheries Regulations No 1 of 2005.

In order to ensure the sustainable use of bivalve mollusc resources within Albanian waters, the Ministry responsible for fisheries imposed technical restrictions on the vessels to be used in this fishery. No vessel other than those complying with the following technical features can be granted a license for the harvesting of bivalve molluscs (Article 53 of Fisheries Regulations No1 of 2005):

  • length of vessel between perpendicular lines must not exceed 10 m;

  • vessel’s engine power must not be more than 100 Hp;

  • vessel’s GRT must not exceed 10 t;

  • vessel’s propeller must not be fitted with a mantle.

No “turbosofiante”-type fishing gear can be used for collecting bivalve molluscs (Article 58.5 of Fisheries Regulations No1 of 2005).

Closed seasons for bivalve molluscs fishing are set as follows (Article 49.6 of Fisheries Regulations No1 of 2005):

  • from 15 June to 15 July for Venus gallina, Cardium and Challista chione;

  • from 1 April to 30 September for Kanoliket;

  • from 1 to 30 April for Donax trunculus; and

  • from 1 June to 31 July for Venus verrucosa.

Daily bag limits are imposed on both vessels and individuals (where the collecting of bivalve molluscs does not involve use of a vessel). They are set as follows (Article 52  of Fisheries Regulations No1 of 2005):

(i) with respect to vessels:

  • 600 kg for Venus gallina and Kardium (combined total);

  • 500 kg for Challista chione;

  • 100 kg for Donax trunculus;

  • 300 kg for koce polse, muscoli and kanestreli (combined total); and

  • 100 kg for Ostrea spp

(ii) with respect to individuals:

  • 5 kg for Solen spp.;

  • 50 kg for Challista chione;

  • 20 kg for Pecten jacobeus;

  • 50 kg for Mytilus galloprovincialis;

  • 30 kg for Ostrea spp.;

  • 10 kg for Venus verrucosa;

  • 20 kg for Donax trunculus;

  • 10 kg for Venus gallina;

  • 10 kg for Ruditapes semidecussatus; and

  • 5 kg for Ruditapes decussatus.

Sport fishing

Sport fishing activities within Albanian waters are strictly regulated. Conduct of such activities is subject to all restrictions applying to professional fishing with regard to, inter alia, minimum fish sizes and closed seasons. In addition, the following restrictions and prohibitions apply to sport fishing:

a)     Fishing gear

As a general rule, it is prohibited in the conduct of sport fishing operations to use any nets and any other fishing gear commonly used for professional fishing. No gear other than hooks, parangalle and spear guns can be used for sport fishing. A fishing pole cannot be fitted with more than 5 hooks (Article 63 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005). Use of spear guns is subject to an age limit (no individual less than 16 years old), to area restrictions (cannot be used within 50 m from professional gears and in marine protected areas) and to technical restrictions (cannot be used in conjunction with a self contained underwater breathing apparatus) (Article 23 of Law No. 7908 of 1995 as modified by Article 6 of Law No. 8870 of 2002).

b)    Daily bag limits

It is prohibited to fish more than 3 kg of fish per day, except in cases where the weight of a single individual exceeds that limit (Article 63.1e of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005). 

 
 Monitoring, control and surveillance

Monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) is an integral and essential component of fisheries management. MCS programs generally encompass the gathering of information on fishing effort characteristics and resource yields, the regulatory conditions under which the exploitation of fishery resources is to be conducted and the types of observations required to ensure compliance with regulatory controls imposed on fishing activities. This paper will primarily focus on MCS measures providing for the registration of fishers and fishing vessels, the marking of fishing vessels, observer programs and information reporting.

a) Register

Law No. 7908 of 1995 provides for the establishment of a register of professional fishers and a register of fishing vessels (Articles 12 and 13).

While the General Directorate of Fisheries keeps a general register of professional fishers recording all persons engaged in professional fishing throughout Albanian waters, the regional offices of the Fishery Inspectorate maintain regional registers of professional fishers operating within their respective area of jurisdiction. The register of professional fishers consists of two parts, one dealing with fishers using vessels equipped with a deck and the other with fishers fishing using vessels without deck or involved in fishing activities not requiring the use of any vessel. Information to be shown in the register of professional fishers includes any reported violation of any fisheries law or regulation together with the penalties that were imposed (Article 17 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005). Any person wishing to engage in professional fishing within Albanian waters is required to be registered (Article 19 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005). It should be noted that professional qualifications might be required for any person wishing to register as a professional fisher (Article 24 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005). Application is made to the General Directorate of Fisheries, which reviews the application form together with other required documents (Article 18 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005). Upon approval, a registration card is issued to the applicant who must carry it with him/her at all times and must show it to fisheries inspectors where required to do so (Article 21 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005). Registration is automatically terminated in the event of: (i) the registered person’s death; (ii) illness or injury preventing the registered person from continuing his/her fishing activity; (iii) and interruption of fishing activity for a period exceeding three years. In addition, a person’s registration may be terminated for breach of law on the request of a fishery inspector (Article 23 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005).

The General Directorate of Fisheries keeps a general register of fishing vessels, whereas offices of the Fishery Inspectorate at the district level maintain local registers of fishing vessels. Registers consist of two parts dealing respectively with fishing vessels equipped with a deck and with coastal vessels without deck, regardless of their means of propulsion. Information to be entered in the registers includes vessels’ technical characteristics (Article 25 of Fisheries Regulations no. 1 of 2005). 

b) Marking

Fishing vessels authorized to conduct professional fishing operations in Albanian waters must be marked in compliance with the FAO Standards Specifications for the Marking and Identification of Fishing Vessels (Article 39 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005).

c) Landing of catch

All Albanian and foreign fishing vessels authorized to engage in professional fishing within Albanian waters are required to land their catches in an Albanian fishing port (Article 21 of Law No. 7908 of 1995).

d) Data collection.

Every fishing license holder is required to submit, on a monthly basis, statistical data in prescribed form to the competent regional office of the Fisheries Inspectorate (Article 25 of Law No. 7908 of 1995 and Article 55 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005) In addition, license holders must complete annual statistical data in prescribed forms to be submitted to the competent authority (Article 66 of Fisheries Regulations No. 1 of 2005). Any license holder who fails to report required information or falsifies this information is liable to a fine ranging from 10 000 to 50 000 leks (Article 39 (16) of Law No. 7908 of 1995).

e) Observers

The Ministry responsible for marine fisheries may impose to any professional fishing license holder the taking of observers on board the vessel for the purpose of collecting scientific data (Article 16 of Law 7908 of 1995). License holders have a duty to allow designated observers to stay on board the vessel and must facilitate the carrying out of their mission (Article 38 h of Fisheries Regulations of 2005).

Source: http://www.dfishery.gov.al/EN/html/legislationoutline.html#CC

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