EU issues illegal fishing warnings

24 May 2017
The EU has issued warnings to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Comoros and Liberia over IUU fishing

The EU has issued warnings to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Comoros and Liberia over IUU fishing

The European Commission has issued warnings to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Comoros and Liberia over illegal fishing.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Comoros have been identified as non-cooperating third countries under the EU's regulation to fight and deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, while Liberia has been pre-identified.

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "We are showing our commitment to fight illegal fishing globally. We do not like to impose sanctions on third countries, but sometimes clear action is needed.”

“We invite the Comoros and Saint Vincent and Grenadines to seriously step up their fight against illegal fishing so that we can reverse this decision quickly. Following today's warning to Liberia we hope their authorities choose to act quickly and correct their wrongdoings."

The decision to issue a red card to the Comoros is based on the typical use of its flag as flag of convenience. Most of the Comorian fleet has no connection to the country and operates in breach of national law, mainly in the waters of West Africa.

Although the red card implies trade sanctions, in this particular case the decision will not impact on trade as the Comoros do not export fish to the EU. However, EU vessels will no longer be allowed to take licences to fish in their waters.

For Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the decision comes due to the lack of control by the authorities of vessels flying their flag. These vessels operate all over the Atlantic and offload their catches in Trinidad and Tobago (which has already been warned in order to improve control over activities in its ports). Effectively, these vessels elude any control over their activities.

Liberia has the second biggest shipping registry in the world with over 100 fishing transport vessels registered under this flag. The national fisheries authorities do not have the information or means to control this fleet.

This lack of control has been confirmed by the listing of a Liberian vessel on the international "black list" last October. Liberia has taken reform measures including the revision of its fisheries laws, but no tangible progress has followed.

Links to related companies and recent articles ...

European Commission

view more