EU threat­ens Tai­wan, Co­moros with ban over illegal fish­ing

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE -

The Euro­pean Union is threat­en­ing to take trade ac­tion against Tai­wan and the Co­moros if they do not con­tain within six months illegal and un­reg­u­lated fish­ing, which is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to the de­ple­tion of key com­mer­cial stocks.

At the same time, the 28- na­tion trade bloc lifted the so­called yel­low card from Ghana and Pa­pua New Guinea af­ter both na­tions took suf­fi­cient mea­sures to crack down on the illegal prac­tices.

EU Fish­eries chief Kar­menu Vella said he called on and the Co­moros to fol­low suit and make sure they are not slapped with ex­port bans to the lu­cra­tive EU mar­ket.

The EU also im­posed a yel­low card on Thai­land six month ago and is in ne­go­ti­a­tions over whether it will move to sanc­tions by the end of the year.

In a press re­lease pub­lished by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, Vella said: “To­day’s de­ci­sions de­mon- strate the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the Euro­pean Union to bring im­por­tant play­ers on board in the fight against IUU fish­ing. Both Ghana and Pa­pua New Guinea have taken own­er­ship of their fish­eries re­forms and now have ro­bust le­gal and pol­icy frame­works in place to fight IUU fish­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.”

“I am call­ing on the author­i­ties of the Co­moros and Tai­wan to fol­low their ex­am­ple and join the Euro­pean Union in pro­mot­ing le­gal and sus­tain­able fish­eries world­wide.”

The EU’s de­ci­sion to is­sue a yel­low card to Tai­wan “is based on se­ri­ous short­com­ings in the fish­eries le­gal frame­work, a sys­tem of sanc­tions that does not de­ter IUU ( illegal, un­re­ported and un­reg­u­lated) fish­ing, and lack of ef­fec­tive mon­i­tor­ing, con­trol and sur­veil­lance of the long- dis­tance fleet,” the Com­mis­sion said in the state­ment.

“Fur­ther­more Tai­wan does not sys­tem­at­i­cally com­ply with Re­gional Fish­eries Man­age­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion obli­ga­tions,” the state­ment con­tin­ued.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion said it has pro­posed a tai­lor­made ac­tion plan and given Tai­wan and the Co­moros six months to re­solve the is­sues in con­cern.

If the short­com­ings are not ad­dressed within six months, the EU could con­sider trade sanc­tions on fish­eries im­ports. Tai­wan’s fish­eries ex­ports to the EU amount to 13 mil­lion euro an­nu­ally, ac­cord­ing to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

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