EU threatens Taiwan, Comoros with ban over illegal fishing
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.