Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) was inspected as part of the European Commission’s evaluation of its fisheries control system, the fisheries department said on Tuesday.

The control system aims to assess the progress made towards the objectives of the common fisheries policy (CFP), particularly sustainability across the supply chain.

In the Mediterranean this entails pooling the resources of seven member states – Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain – and coordinating common inspections using vessels from national coast guards.

Italian patrol vessel Nave Gregoretti CP920 carried out three inspections in the Eastern Mediterranean, one between November 7 and 12, another between November 15 and 20, and a third, focused exclusively on Cyprus’ EEZ, between November 23 and 28.

“Its presence in our region confirms the importance of mobilising the means of control and surveillance of all EU waters, including the eastern Mediterranean,” a written statement said.

Nine fisheries inspectors participated in the expedition alongside the ship’s crew of 30. Four came from Italy, three from Cyprus, one from Greece and one from the European Commission.

The inspection covered 18 fishing vessels overall, noting 16 CFP violations.

Nine of the checks were performed in Cyprus on seven pelagic fishing vessels with no violations, and two bottom trawlers with four violations regarding the use of illegal equipment, incorrect logs and fishing under the permitted size.

“By enabling a thorough search of the Cypriot EEZ, Nave Gregoretti contributed to the creation of a well-rounded picture for the Eastern Mediterranean in November, and helped eliminate and prevent illegal fishing in the area,” the statement said.