EU to PH: solve illegal fishing or face fish trade ban

“Today’s decision highlights that these countries are not doing enough to fight illegal fishing,” said Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Damanaki said, “Our thorough analysis highlights they are not acting sufficiently to fight illegal fishing. And any illegally caught fish is of great concern to me: it undermines the livelihood of fishing communities and depletes fish stocks.” The European Union hands PH and Papua New Guinea yellow cards.

“We are convinced that these two countries exercise no real control on what goes on in their waters and on their ships. So that they cannot guarantee that their fish is caught respecting local and international rules.”

“This warning is not the end of the road. To the contrary, it means we will intensify and formalise our dialogue with both countries in the coming months. How do we do this? We propose to each of them a tailored action plan to help them overcome their shortcomings,” the commissioner said.

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“Today most of the nations which we warned are making progress. The nations who did not – Guinea, Belize, Cambodia – were banned from trading fish into the EU in March of this year. I urge the Philippines and Papua New Guinea to take action so that this second step will not be necessary.”

“Because, let me make one thing clear: the Commission’s ultimate goal is not listing countries and impose trade bans. It is to use all the means we have to achieve sustainability in our EU waters – through our Common Fisheries Policy reform and our enforcement of control rules. Why? Because we import two thirds of the fish we eat in the EU.”

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