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European Commission intensifies the fight against illegal fishing

EU News 488/2013

Brussels, 26 November 2013

Following a formal warning one year ago (IP/12/1215), the European Commission today intensifies its fight against illegal fishing by identifying Belize, Cambodia and Guinea as non-cooperating third countries. Despite the Commission working closely with the countries' authorities to set up fisheries management and effective control measures, these three countries have still not addressed structural problems and have failed to show real commitment to tackling the problem of illegal fishing. The Commission now proposes to the Council of Ministers to adopt trade measures against the three countries in order to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from these illegal activities. Ultimately, fisheries products caught by vessels from these countries will be banned from being imported into the EU.

The decision is consistent with the EU's international commitment to ensuring the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources at home and abroad. The EU's approach towards combatting illegal fishing reflects the fact that IUU fishing is a global criminal activity which is harmful not only to EU fishermen and markets but also to local communities in developing countries.

Fiji, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu also received formal warnings last year, but they have all made credible progress in close cooperation with the Commission. They have set in motion new legislation and improved their monitoring, control and inspection systems and, as a result, dialogue with these countries has been extended until the end of February 2014 with progress to be evaluated next spring.

Source and additional information:

Maria Damanaki, Member of the EC in charge of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Date: 26/11/2013 Reference: P-024523/00-03 Location: Brussels - EC/Berlaymont (C)EU, 2013 URL