First ever seafood trade ban

25 Mar 2014
EU member states are now required to ban the import of fish from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea

EU member states are now required to ban the import of fish from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea

The EU decision to place trade restrictions on Belize, Cambodia and Guinea for failing to cooperate in fighting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, has been welcomed by environmental groups.

The decision means EU member states are now required to ban the import of fish from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea and ensure that EU fishing vessels do not operate in the waters of these nations.

Maria José Cornax, Fisheries Campaign Manager at Oceana said: “We hope that fishing nations around the world are looking today at the EU's leadership, and are ready to follow this newly opened path towards the definitive elimination of IUU fishing."

The three countries were initially among eight countries identified by the European Commission in November 2012 for inadequate monitoring of their fishing fleets, neglecting to impose sanctions on illegal fishing operators, and failing to develop robust fisheries laws.

In November 2013, warnings were also issued to Curaçao, Ghana, and South Korea that they could also face the same set of trade measures if they do not cooperate in fighting IUU fishing.

Now, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts and WWF are also calling on the European Commission to close a loophole that allows non-EU vessels fishing in the banned countries’ waters to continue exporting their catches to the EU.

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