The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (in Germain, short BLE) is responsible for fishery protection. With three oceangoing fishery protection vessels, it monitors compliance with national and international legal provisions on fishery in the Exclusive Economic Zone, i.e. outside twelve nautical miles from the German coast. These legal provisions are intended to harmonise the different interests of the fishing industry, trade and the processing industry on the one hand with the requirements of environmental protection on the other hand. The BLE implements the EU fishery policy guidelines in Germany: It is responsible for the implementation of the Common Market Organisation for Fisheries, the management of the national catch quota, the keeping of electronic logbooks and price reporting as well as satellite-supported fishery control. It issues catch permits, takes measures against illegal fishing and deals with fishery matters relating to external trade. It is responsible for the labelling of fishery products, observes the market and draws up reports as well as supply and demand analyses.
Aboard the fishery vessel, BLE inspectors control both fishing gears and quantities as well as vessel papers. Catches are inspected for compliance with the EU regulations in terms of species, quantity and minimum size of fish. Furthermore, the inspectors monitor compliance with general fishing bans as well as the prerequisites to gain access to specific fishing grounds. Violations are punished and may lead to the imposition of fines and to quota reductions. These controls constribute significantly to a sustainable development of fishery resources.
Due to their extraordinary seakeeping capability, the three fishery protection vessels "Seefalke", "Meerkatze" and "Seeadler" may even be used in extreme weather conditions. Therefore, these vessels are also deployed worldwide in support of the international fisheries organisations NAFO and NEAFC.
Officers of the BLE are permanently present at the JEARCS in the MSSC; they are also employed as inspectors at sea on a rotational basis. The respective officer on duty advises the partner authorities on issues related to fishing and fishing law.
Agriculture, food, fishery - the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food is the central implementation authority of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. In addition to manifold control and service tasks it takes over numerous administrative functions. Be it biological diversity, innovation promotion, organic farming or rural development, sustainable biomass and market regulations - the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food is involved in numerous fields of activity.