EU warns Philippines, Papua New Guinea over illegal fishing

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-6-11 9:13:52

The European Commission on Tuesday warned the Philippines and Papua New Guinea over insufficient action to fight illegal fishing, threatening them with further trade sanctions, according to an EU statement.

Both countries identified as non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, are being given a yellow card warning and a reasonable time to respond and take measures to rectify the situation.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said, "If half of the Western Pacific's tuna is exported to the EU, we cannot ignore illegal fishing activities in this region."

She urged the Philippines and Papua New Guinea to fight the practice "which puts the livelihoods of fishermen at risk", adding that "in the end, sustainability of fisheries in the Pacific Ocean means sustainability here in Europe, on our plates."

The Commission has also proposed an action plan for each country to address the shortcomings, such as lack of system of sanctions to deter IUU activities or lack of actions to address deficiencies in monitoring, controlling and surveillance of fisheries.

The countries need to amend their legal framework to combat IUU fishing, improve control and monitoring actions and take a proactive role in complying with international law rules, the statement said.

Should the situation not improve within six months, the EU could take further steps, which could entail trade sanctions on fisheries imports.

The decision is based on the EU's IUU Regulation, which entered into force in 2010, aiming at allowing access to the EU market only to fisheries products that have been certified as legal by the flag State concerned.

Posted in: Europe

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