BRUSSELS: The EU on Thursday warned Taiwan and the Comoros they had six months to take stronger action against illegal fishing or risk an import ban in the world’s single biggest market.
The European Commission, the executive of the 28-nation EU, issued “yellow cards” to Taiwan and the Comoros warning they could be labeled as “uncooperative” in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU).
However, the Commission said it withdrew yellow cards it handed previously to Ghana and Papua New Guinea after they “significantly reformed” the way they run their fisheries.
“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,” EU Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella said in a statement.
“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,” Vella added.
The Commission faulted Taiwan for “serious shortcomings” in fisheries laws that fail to deter illegal fishing and for poor monitoring off the long-distance fleet.
It complained that the Comoros has partly outsourced their fleet register to a private firm off shore in breach of Comorian law and without monitoring by the authorities.
It also found shortcomings in the country’s legal framework.
The Commission said that between 11 and 26 million tons of fish are caught illegally a year, or at least 15 percent the global catch, worth up to 10 billion euros a year.