Albania

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Welcome to the GFCM Database on National Fisheries Legislation

Please read the 'Introduction' in the Main Page before starting.

N.B: the below reported contents are currently subject to revision and will be thus updated in due course.


Contents


For further information, please visit the Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile of Albania in the FAO Website, here

Introduction


Albania is member of the GFCM since April 10th 1991. The country is party to the UN Law of the Sea Convention (23 June 2003)) and also to the FAO Compliance Agreement of 1993. Albania has not ratified the FAO Port State Measures Agreement of 2009 and the UN Fish Stock Agreement of 1995.

FISHERIES

Access regime to fisheries resources

In Albanian legislation, national waters are identified as waters of the Republic of Albania, which include both marine and inland waters (Article 4(98),Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012 ). The terms internal sea waters, territorial waters and maritime space are defined in the Albanian Maritime Code (Law No. 9251 of 8 July 2004, as amended) in line with UNCLOS, whereas transitional waters are surface waters found in the vicinity of river mouths, which are partially saline in character, as a result of their proximity to coastal waters, but which are substantially influenced by freshwater flows (Article 4(100-102), Law on Fisheries). Internal waters include coastal lagoons, natural lakes, lakes, hydropower, agricultural watersheds, rivers and other waters of the Republic of Albania, other than marine waters (Article 4(99) Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012).

Albanian waters are accessible by Albanian vessels and foreign vessel under the conditions expressed by the article 30 of Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012 that amend Law No. 7908 on Fishery and Aquaculture, 5 April 1995. The article 28 of the Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012 determine the different types of fishing licence that could be obtained in Albania. Namely: a) Commercial fishing; b) recreational fishing entertaining; c) fishing for scientific and research purposes.

From 2009, Albania has established a National Licensing Centre to improve licensing and permitting for all applicable commercial activities in order to reduce the administrative barriers of free initiatives in economic, trade, or professional activities, protecting in the same time the public interest in these activities and the usage of public goods.

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania has the possibility to settle fishing agreements with foreign countries or international organizations, determining foreign party's obligations.

Fishing licences for foreign vessel are allowed only to shall be issued to foreign vessels by the Ministry provided that:

  • an international agreement has been concluded, or
  • the intended activities comply with national economic development policy on fisheries, requirements for sustainable use of resources or Albanian foreign investment policy for this sector.

Foreign fishing vessel authorized to fish in Albanian waters must be listed in a special register managed by the Fishery Directory.

Administrative authorizations and licenses

Access to marine resources within the national waters is governed by a licensing system. It distinguishes between different categories depending on the fishing activities and methods (Law No. 10001 of 6 October 2008; Regulation No. 538 of 26.5.2009) such as: bottom, small or large pelagic, bivalve mollusk fishery, hydraulic dredges, selective and coastal fishery, etc. Commercial fishing may be carried out by a professional fishery trader or by a fishery artisan (Article 29). Professional fishing is performed by ships longer than 12m and with motor power equal or greater than 56 kW (75 horsepower) (Article 4(62)). A professional marine fishing permit lasts five years and is issued individually to fishing vessels by the National Licensing Center, upon approval of the Directorate of Fishery in the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration. A tax is due on the basis of the engine power and the type of activity undertaken (Law No. 8977). For foreign vessels authorized to fish within Albanian waters the fee twice that of Albanian vessels. Fishing vessels authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (Fishery Directorate), which will trawl for scientific purposes, are exempt from paying fees.
Transfer of fishing permits are allowed in the following cases:

  • another navigating craft of the same technical characteristics when the first fishing vessel is out of activity for fishing purposes, and certified it with the necessary documentation (Regulation No. 3 on fishing and aquaculture licensing);
  • any property subject or legal representative of a fishing vessel or an aquaculture center equipped by a license/permit and where the subject aims to continue its activity performance according to the existing permit.

Fishing outside the territorial waters of the Republic of Albania is done by special authorization of the Minister (Article 34 of Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012 ). 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 Regulations No. 1 of 29 March 2005).


Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Main fisheries laws and regulations

Law No.7908 dated on 5.4.1995 “On Fisheries and Aquaculture
Main legislations
Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012 of 31 May 2012
DCM No. 301 of 10 April 2013 on the establishment of a national framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice in accordance with the Albanian Fisheries Policy
DCM No. 402 of 8 May 2013 on management measures for the sustainable exploitation of fishery resources in the Mediterranean Sea
Law No. 10001 dated on 6.10.2008 “On some additions and amendments to Law No. 7908 of 05/04/1995"On Fisheries and Aquaculture”
Law No. 10081 dated on 23.2.2009 “On Licenses, Authorizations and Permits in the Republic of Albania”
Law No. 6/2015 amending and supplementing Law No. 10081 of 2009 on licenses, authorizations, and permits in the Republic of Albania
Law No. 10137 dated on 11.5.2009 “On some amendments of legislation entered into power on licenses, authorizations and the permits in the Republic of Albania
Law No. 8977 dated on 12.12.2002, amended “On tariff system in the Republic of Albania
Regulation No. 538 of 2009 on licenses and permits issued through the National Center for Licensing (NCL) and other sub-legal common regulations
Regulation No. 954 of 2009 on the organization, structure, and functioning of the Inter-Institutional Operational Marine centre (IOMC) and on the interaction with the government institution involved in maritime affairs
Regulation No. 1 on the implementation of the legislation on fishery and aquaculture, 29 March 2005
Regulation No. 3 amending and supplementing Regulation No. 2 on fishing and aquaculture licensing,20 June 2008
Regulation No. 6 of 2009 on rules for recording information on fish catch, 13 February 2009
Regulation No.8 dated 11.11.2009 on the managing measures for the sustainable exploitation of the fishery resources

Source FAOLEX

Conservation and control measures

Restrictions apply on fisheries resources

Fish and other aquatic organisms are protected from threats that relate to their environment necessary growth, as well as from overexploitation through the implementation of measures aimed at preserving marine biodiversity, the biological reproductive potential, as well as environmental conditions (article 6 ofLaw on Fisheries No. 64/2012.


Area and time restrictions

In Albania, it is forbidden using dredges and trawl for fishing below 1000m depth (DCM Nr 402, of 8 May 2013 on management measures for the sustainable exploitation of fishery resources in the marine areas).

  • Gulf of Vlora is prohibited for trawling vessels;
  • The use of towed gears is prohibited within 3 nautical miles of the coast or within the 50 m isobath where that depth is reached at a shorter distance from the coast (Fisheries Regulation No. 8 of 11.11.2009, Art. 12]);
  • The use of trawl nets is prohibited within 1,5 nautical miles of the coast. The use of boat dredges and of hydraulic dredges is prohibited within 0,3 nautical miles of the coast;
  • The use of purse seines is prohibited within 300 meters of the coast or within the 50 metres isobath where that depth is reached at a shorter distance from the coast.


Minimum sizes
SCENTIFIC NAME Minimum size
Fish
Dicentrarchus labrax 25 cm
Diplodus annularis 12 cm
Diplodus puntazzo 18 cm
Diplodus sargus 23 cm
Diplodus vulgaris 18 cm
Engraulis engrasicolus 9 cm
Epinephelus spp. 45 cm
Lithognathus mormyrus 20 cm
Merluccius merluccius 20 cm
Mullus spp. 11 cm
Pagellus acarne 17 cm
Pagellus bogaraveo 33 cm
Pagellus erythrinus 15 cm
Pagrus pagrus 18 cm
Polyprion americanus 45 cm
Sardina pilchardus 11 cm
Scomber spp. 18 cm
Solea vulgaris 20 cm
Sparus aurata 20 cm
Trachurus spp. 15 cm
Crustaceans
Hommarus gammarus 105 mm CL

300 mm TL

Nephrops norvegicus 20 mm CL

70 mm TL

Palinuridae 90 mm CL
Parapenaeus longirostris 20 mm CL
Mollusc bivalves
Pecten jacobeus 10 cm
Venerupis spp. 25 mm
Venus spp. 25 mm
Protected species

List of protected species of fish and other aquatic organisms, including types katadrome anadrome are approved by the Council of Ministers (article 9 of Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012 Species declared as endangered species within the Albanian Red Book include:

  1. Acipenser sturio;
  2. Cetorhinus maximus, Carcharodon carcharias;
  3. Mobula mobular;
  4. Lithophaga lithophaga;
  5. Corallium spp.;
  6. Spongidae;
  7. Marine mammals;
  8. Sea turtles.

Article 37 Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012 prohibits the fishing of certain types of marine organisms, in particular catching, keeping or transiting on board, intentional landing and marketing of the following marine organisms, including for human consumption, is prohibited at any time, in any area and using any type of equipment or gear:

  1. river alcoran - Salmo letnica lumi;
  2. sturgeon - Acipenser sturio;
  3. sharks - Cetorhinus maximus, Carcharodon carcharias;
  4. sea cow - Mobula mobular;
  5. dater shell (dateri) - Lithophaga lithophaga;
  6. corals - Corallium spp;
  7. sponges - Spongidae;
  8. sea mammals;
  9. sea turtles;
  10. sea cucumbers.


Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Fishing gear and methods
  • It is prohibited to use driftnets for large pelagics species (Fisheries Regulation No.1 of 29 March 2005, Art.48/8);
  • Bottom-set nets shall not be used to catch the following species: Albacore (Thunnus alalunga), Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), Swordfish (Xiphias gladius), Ray's bream (Brama brama), Sharks (Hexanchus griseus; Cetorhinus maximus; Alopiidae; Carcharhinidae; Sphyrnidae; Isuridae and Lamnidae) (Fisheries Regulation No. 8 of 11 November 2009, Art.7/2);
  • Spear-guns shall be prohibited if used in conjunction with underwater breathing apparatus (aqualung) or at night from sunset to dawn (Fisheries Regulation No. 8 of 11 November 2009, Art. 7/4);
  • The use for fishing and the keeping on board of a towed net, a surrounding net or a gillnet shall be prohibited, unless the mesh size in that part of the net having the smallest meshes complies with the regulation (Fisheries Regulation No. 8 of 11 November 2009 Art. 9/1]]);
  • For towed nets, the minimum mesh size shall be: 40 mm at the cod-end (square-meshed ned) or, at the duly justified request of the ship owner, a diamond meshed net of 50 mm;
  • Bottom-set gillnets shall not have a mesh size opening smaller than 16 mm;
  • For bottom-set gillnets targeting red sea bream, where these species accounts for at least 20 % of the catch in live weight, the minimum mesh size shall be 100 mm.

The following gear cannot be used for fishing or kept on board:

  • toxic, soporific or corrosive substances;
  • electric shock generators;
  • explosives;
  • substances that can explode if mixed;
  • towed devices for harvesting red coral or other type of corals or coral-like organisms;
  • pneumatic hammers or other percussive instruments for the collection, in particular, of bivalve molluscs digging within the rocks;
  • St Andrew's cross and similar grabs for harvesting, in particular, red coral or other type of corals or coral-like organisms.

Requirements due to fishing vessels

The Fishery Inspectorate Sector in the Directorate of Environmental Control is responsible for the implementation of legislation and policies in the area of fisheries and aquaculture. The Fishery Inspectorate Sector conducts inspections onboard fishing vessels, in ports and landing sites, which includes inspecting the catch (structure and dimensions), fishing gear and fishing methods. The Fisheries Inspectorate cooperates with many other state organs to assure that the duties of the Inspectorate are enforced. These organs are: Border Police, Coast Guard, Harbour Masters Office etc.

Register

Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012 provides for the establishment of a register of professional fishermen and a register of fishing vessels (Articles 31 and 32). The General Directorate of Fisheries keeps a general register of fishing vessels (RAP) which record each vessel used for commercial fishing, whereas offices of the Fishery Inspectorate at the district level maintain local registers of fishing vessels. Any vessel that is registered in the register of the fishing fleet, is given a unique identification number (NFR- CFR).

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). It also 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).

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Reporting obligation

The Fishery Inspectorate is responsible for the collection of the logbooks and for sending them to the Directorate of Fisheries (Fisheries Regulation No. 6 of 2009). Foreign fishing vessels must report their movement and data on catch (art. 75 of Regulation No. 1 on the implementation of the legislation on fishery and aquaculture, 29 March 2005).
The catch certification schemes for the import and export of fishery products may be adopted by the Council of Ministers (Article 118 of Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012).

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

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).

Landing of catch

Each vessel equipped with license for commercial fishing in the waters of the Republic of Albania is obliged, after fishing and before possible exporting of aquatic organisms to fish, return to an Albanian port to perform all actions required by this law and its implementation. (Article 36 of Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012.

The captains or owners of fishing vessels with a total length of 12m or longer have the obligation to electronically record and transmit catch data from the fishing logbook to the IMOC at least once in 24 hours (Article 77).

Fishing outside the territorial waters of the Republic of Albania is done by special authorization of the Minister. The Fisheries authorities may authorize landing of catch declared to have been made on the high seas only if it can be proved that the catch is from an area that is not regulated by international agreements or regional fisheries organizations to which Albania is a party. (Regulation No. 1062 on competences of the Fishing Inspectorate and regulating the monitoring of the implementation of fishing management policies, 16 July 2008).

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Observers

The duties, the rights and the reports of fishery inspectors are set in Articles 121 to 124. Article 125 creates and regulates fishery observers (monitoring capture, handling, and processing of water resources and related activities and record data related to these activities, collecting and recording biological information and other information related to the activity regulated by this law, collecting samples of water resources where fishing activity has been carried out).

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 of Regulation No. 1 of 29 March 2005).

Vessel Monitoring System

A VMS is installed at the Inter-institutional Maritime Operational Centre (IMOC) as well as a radar system to detect vessel activity. A link of VMS is installed to the Directorate of Fisheries. Foreign fishing vessels authorized to fish in Albanian waters are subject to the obligation to be equipped with VMS (art. 25.6 of Regulation No. 1 on the implementation of the legislation on fishery and aquaculture, 29 March 2005).

The captains or owners of fishing vessels with a total length of 12m or longer have the obligation to electronically record and transmit catch data from the fishing logbook to the IMOC at least once in 24 hours (Article 77). It is considered as IUU fishing, under Article 117(1)(b), when a vessel does not respect the obligations related to the recording and disclosure of data on catch, including data that are transmitted via satellite or prior notification.

The VMS of the foreign fishing vessels shall be approved by the Albanian authorities (art. 98 of Regulation No. 1062 on competences of the Fishing Inspectorate and regulating the monitoring of the implementation of fishing management policies, 16 July 2008). This Regulation establishes a monitoring system for fisheries management policies. The monitoring system includes the Fishing Inspectorate and other State institutions collaborating with the Inspectorate.


Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Sanctions

Among the sanctions provided for in the Albanian legislation:

  • fishing without licence 700-7000 €;
  • fishing with gear not marked 350-3500 €;
  • fishing with blue – box not functional 7000- 14000€;
  • no declaration of catches, landing 35-70 €;
  • transbording 70-350€;
  • fishing without catch certificate: 350-700€;
  • fishing vessels without Albanian flag 150 000 – 320 000€;
  • fishing under the minimal size 350-3500 €;
  • selling, import or export of fish IUU product is punished as 5 time of fish value.

Depending on the gravity of the damage caused, addditional sanctions may be imposed, such as:

  • confiscation of catches;
  • confiscation of vehicles and equipment used for fishing;
  • confiscation of the fishing vessel / vessel;
  • suspension of the permit or authorization issued under the legislation for a period not longer than 6 months (in case of repetition of the same offense, permanent suspension);
  • withdrawal from the register of fishermen for a period not longer than 6 months (in case of repetition of the same offense, permanent suspension).A point system is also in place for serious infringements.


Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject
REC. GFCM/33/2009/8 on the establishment of a list of vessels presumed to have carried out IUU fishing in the GFCM area


Principal Legal Measures on Monitoring, Control and Surveillance

Logbook
Law on Fisheries No. 64/2012 of 21 May 2012
Regulation No. 1 on the implementation of the legislation on fishery and aquaculture
Regulation No. 6 of 2009 on rules for recording information on fish catch
Landing of catch
Law No. 7908 on Fishery and Aquaculture 1995
Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)
DCM No. 407 of 8 May 2013 establishing a control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the management fisheries policy
Regulation No. 954 of 2009 on the organization, structure, and functioning of the Inter-Institutional Operational Marine centre (IOMC) and on the interaction with the government institution involved in maritime affairs
Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing (IUU)
DCM No. 302 of 10 April 2013 establishing a system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and establishing fish catch certification schemes
Regulation No.9 dated 25.1.2010 establishing a system for the prevention and elimination of the illegal, not-regulated and not-reported fishing

Source FAOLEX

AQUACULTURE


The Albanian experience in semi-intensive and intensive aquaculture has its beginnings in the early 60s. Mariculture in Albania has started to develop in 2000. Mariculture is concentrated in the area from Karaburun to the border with Greece. Currently in the field of aquaculture is in power law no. 7908, date 04.05.1995 "On Fishery and Aquaculture" amended.
At present it is at the final stage the discussion for the approval of the new law “On Aquaculture”. Due to the importance that the Albanian administration give to the aquaculture, was decide to prepare a separate law for aquaculture.


Administrative authorizations and license

The right to use private land for undertaking aquaculture activities is fee of license obligation. The aquaculture licence is provided by article 27 of the law no. 7908, date 04.05.1995. The aquaculture licenses are given from the license board, in Fishery Directorate, signed by Minister. One important point of license criteria is the compatibility with environment. The licence is issued subject to projects not causing harm to the environment and that support the development of the Albanian economy. The Board for issuing aquaculture licences is constituted by representatives of the Committee of Environmental Protection and other ministries concerned. Planning in the field of aquaculture is done on the basis of an integrated management of economical and environmental interests with other sectors concerned being a subject of procedures for evaluating environmental effects. The right to use waters of Republic of Albania for undertaking aquaculture is determined through the same aquaculture licence. The article 29 of the same law specifies the duration of the licence. The duration of an aquaculture licence will be for 20 years and can thereafter be renewed. The deadlines for starting and completing structures for exerting activities, are defined in licences. In any case, the facilities must be completed within three years from the time when licence is issued. Based on the law N. 8318, the foreigner investors lease the land for 99 years.
Any modification of structures, equipment and maintenance of plants and installations must have prior authorization of the ministry (article 30). The law consider the developpement of plannign as the GFCM Recommendations, the concept of setting the priority areas of aquaculture development (AZA - Allocation Zone for Aquaculture). This process includes a system of spatial planning or zoning, conducted at local or national level.


Main aquaculture laws and regulations



Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject


Source:
Ministry of Environment Forestry and Water Administration(MEFWA)-Directorate of fisheries policies: http://www.dfishery.gov.al/EN/html/legislation.html;
FAOLEX: http://faolex.fao.org/fishery/index.htm

FAO Adriamed: http://www.faoadriamed.org/html/Legislation/LegALBComp.html;
LaMed Questionnaire.