Bulgaria

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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 Bulgaria in the FAO Website, here.

Introduction


Bulgaria is member of the GFCM since the 3rd of November 1969. The country is party to the UN Law of the Sea Convention (15 May 1996) and the UN Fish Stock Agreement of 1995 (13 December 2006). Bulgaria has not ratified the FAO Compliance Agreement of 1993 and also the FAO Port State Measures Agreement of 2009.

FISHERIES

With the recent amendments of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Act (FAA), adopted in November 2005, 2012, 2014, the FAA was entirely harmonized with the fisheries Acquis. The amendments introduce the basic principles of the European legislation regarding the registration of the first sale of fish, the rules for the recognition of organizations that produce fish and other aquatic organisms and inter-branch organizations.

Access regime to fisheries resources

Commercial fishing permits in the waters of the Black Sea are issued according to the reference levels of the total capacity of the fishing fleet of the Republic of Bulgaria (Regulation (EU) No. 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Common Fisheries Policy, amending Council Regulations (EC) No. 1954/2003 and (EC) No. 1224/2009 and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No. 2371/2002), see section: European Union.

Administrative authorizations and licenses

The National Agency of Fisheries and Aquaculture is the administration responsible for the organization of the licensing system for fishing and is responsible and for issuing all fishing licenses for commercial fishing and permits for angling. It has the right to organize registration systems for aquaculture producers, as well as for the other activities subject to registration and maintains the registers under Fisheries and Aquaculture Act provisions. The licenses issued by the NAFA are delivered after the potential licence holder has taken part in a course and succefully passed an exam. Vessels of third countries may perform commercial fishing according to the applicable legal acts of the European Community and under the order of the Marine spaces, internal water ways and ports of the Republic of Bulgaria Act. Commercial fishing permits in the waters of the Black Sea and the Danube river are issued to the vessels entered in the vessel register kept by the Executive agency “Maritime administration”.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Main fisheries laws and regulations

Conservation and control measures

Restrictions apply on fisheries resources

Area and time restrictions

The bottom trawling has been banned for the whole Bulgarian Black Sea coast. There are also 5 protected zones for fishing according to the Protected marine zones Act. An artificial reef has been created in 2011 near the resort “St. Konstantin and Elena”, at 2 miles from the coast and at depth of 22 meters (a former government airplane).

Minimum sizes

FAA envisages minimum sizes for all species of fish and aquatic organisms in national waters (FAA, Art. 38, par 1, Annex 2). The minimum size were amended in the Act to Amend and Supplement the Fisheries and Aquaculture Act No 7002 23/7/2012


Protected species

Protected species are covered by EU legislations. In order to protect endangered sturgeon species, Bulgaria banned sturgeon fishing in May 2011.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Fishing gear and methods

FAA regulates the type and the usage of the different fishing gear: explosive materials, poisonous and intoxicating substances; electricity and technical devices and equipment for electric catches; bottom trawling and dragging means; fire weapon; harpoon are among the gear, means and equipment prohibited (FAA, Art. 35 par. 1).

Requirements due to fishing vessels

Register

The entry in the register of fishing vessels, the issuing of commercial fishing licenses, special permits and the certification of acquired rights for stocks of fish and other aquatic organisms are carried out in compliance with the requirements of European Union law. A register of fishing vessels is maintained by NAFA (Ordinance 54/2006). The collected information is summarized in the respective NAFA’s Fisheries Inspectorate and the information is submitted to NAFA’s headquarter via the system /NIFASS/ functioning online. The presented statistical data for the current situation and development of the sector are being processed, summarized, analyzed and kept in the following forms and registers:
• Register of commercial fishing licenses issued;
• Register of angling permits issued;
• Register of aquaculture farms;
• Fishing Vessels Register (Executive Agency “Maritime Administration“ holds up Fishing Vessels Register jointly with NAFA);
• Register of centers for first sale of fish;
• Register of fish buyers registered in accordance with Fisheries and Aquaculture Act;
• Register of recognized fish producers’ organizations (FPOs) and inter-branch organizations in the sector recognized by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry;
• Register of fishing rights for permissions issued for research purposes; administrative-penalty activity, enforced under FAA provisions; production of fish and other aquatic organisms; catch of fish and other aquatic organisms.
The statistical information is submitted annually to FAO and EUROSTAT.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Reporting obligation


Ordinance 43/2006 on the rules and procedure of keeping the fishing logbook and issue and submission of landing declaration (SG 41/2006); FAA, Art. 59-61.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Marking

This subject is covered by the European Union legislation. To ensure that fishing activities are only undertaken in line with the rules of the common fisheries policy such activities should be subject to a fishing licence and, when specific conditions apply, to a fishing authorisation. Also rules on the marking and identification of fishing vessels and their gear should apply.


Landing of catch

The master of a vessel flying the flag of a Member State of the European Union with a length of over 10 metres has the obligation to keep a logbook (art. 1). (Commission Regulation (EEC) No. 2807/83 laying down detailed rules for recording information on Member States' catches of fish, 22 September 1983 as amended in 2005) Twelve Bulgarian fishing ports are currently registered in the Community Fishing Fleet Register, all of them located on the Black Sea coast. At present all Bulgarian fishing ports are state or municipality property. Most of the fleet is concentrated on the southern coast, in the district of Burgas (ca. 57% of the vessels, 56% of the gross tonnage and 61% of the total engine power). The main fishing ports are situated in Varna, Burgas and Sozopol and smaller ports in NUTS IV regions. National ports in the GFCM area of application to which foreign vessels may be permitted access in accordance with the recommendation GFCM/32/2008/1 are Burgas and Varna.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Observers

- Inspections
The control of the fishing vessels under the national flag and of those under a foreign flag is performed by the National Agency of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Executive Agency “Maritime administration” in collaboration with the General Directorate of the “Border police”. The main national ports where inspections are carried out are Burgas, Varna, Balchik, Nessebar, Sozopol, Shabla et Kavarna

Vessel Monitoring System

Bulgaria has developed an active and functional satellite system for monitoring of the fishing vessels (VMS). This system gives the opportunity to control the fishing vessels and their fishing activities which minimizes the opportunity to perform IUU and allows to localize the coordinates of the fishing vessels at any given moment. The system is an important step in the receipt of true statistical data with a large degree of preciseness, connected with the place of the fishing and gives opportunities for more effective management of the stocks of commercially important fish species.

Ordinance 7/2006 on the rules and procedure of use, maintenance and keeping of the system for monitoring and control of the fishing vessels, introducing the requirements of EC Regulation 2244/2003, and establishing detailed rules regarding the Fishing Vessels Monitoring System (SG 15/2006).

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Sanctions

Among the sanctions provided for in the Bulgarian legislation:

  • fishing with prohibited fishing gear, means or equipment: fine from 500 to 1 500 lv (when done by legal entity or sole proprietor: fine from 1000 to 2000 lv);
  • keeping, carrying or fixing prohibited fishing gear, means and equipment: fine from 1000 to 2000 lv;
  • confiscation of the illegally caught fish, as well as the gear, means and equipments.

Relevant national legislation on sanctions are :

• The Law for Fisheries and Aquacultures;

• The Law for administrative infringements and sanctions;

• Penalty code of Republic of Bulgaria;

• Ordinance No 3 from 19.02.2013 for applying point system for serious infringements as laid down in Council Regulation 1005/2008.


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
Ordinance 43/2006 on the rules and procedure of keeping the fishing logbook and issue and submission of landing declaration (SG 41/2006)
European Union Legislation
Landing of catch
Ordinance 43/2006 on the rules and procedure of keeping the fishing logbook and issue and submission of landing declaration (SG 41/2006)
International Agreements Council Regulation of 20 June 2011 on the approval, on behalf of the European Union, of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (2011/443/EU)
Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)
Ordinance 7/2006 on the rules and procedure of use, maintenance and keeping of the system for monitoring and control of the fishing vessels, introducing the requirements of EC Regulation 2244/2003, and establishing detailed rules regarding the Fishing Vessels

Source FAOLEX


Source: Official Journal of the Republic of Bulgaria: http://www.parliament.bg/; LaMed Questionnaire.