Six month extensions to address IUU activities

17 Feb 2015
Ghana continues to cooperate closely with the EC. Credit: hiyori13/Wiki/CC BY-SA 2.0

Ghana continues to cooperate closely with the EC. Credit: hiyori13/Wiki/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Ghana have been granted six month extensions by the European Commission as they work towards eradicating illegal fishing in their countries.

All three countries were given an action plan and a six month period to make the necessary changes to address their fisheries control weaknesses.

Some of the shortcomings identified by the EC included weak legislation, a lack of a system of sanctions to deter illegal fishing activities or deficiencies in systems for the monitoring, controlling and surveillance of fisheries.

The EC says that all three countries have made credible progress in fulfilling their international obligations. They have amended their legal framework, improved control and monitoring systems and are taking a proactive role in complying with international rules.

The countries still need more time to finalise the adoption and implementation of these measures and will now have six months to do so. The EU has worked closely with the three countries to help them make the necessary changes and the extension is testament to their commitment and to the EU's approach to fighting illegal fishing.

European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said, "I am pleased that the Philippines and Papua New Guinea have taken their warnings seriously, and that Ghana continues to cooperate closely with the Commission. All three countries have shown political will and have made tangible progress in fighting illegal fishing. That is why I am offering each country an additional six months and I look forward to seeing their hard work bear fruit later this year".

Had the countries not made significant and demonstrable improvements within the initial six months, the EU could have taken further steps including trade sanctions on fisheries imports, such as those taken against Guinea, Belize, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

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