Yellow cards for Taiwan and Comoros

01 Oct 2015
Comoros and Taiwan have six months to resolve the identified issues. Credit: European Commission

Comoros and Taiwan have six months to resolve the identified issues. Credit: European Commission

The European Commission has issued Comoros and Taiwan with yellow card warnings, as they risk being identified uncooperative in the fight against illegal fishing.

At the same time, the Commission is lifting the yellow cards from Ghana and Papua New Guinea, which have significantly reformed their fisheries governance system.  

European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said, “Today's decisions demonstrate the determination of the European Union to bring important players on board in the fight against IUU fishing. 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. 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.”

The decision to issue a yellow card to Taiwan is based on serious shortcomings in the fisheries legal framework, a system of sanctions that does not deter IUU fishing, and lack of effective monitoring, control and surveillance of the long-distance fleet. Furthermore Taiwan does not systematically comply with Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) obligations.

Comoros has partly delegated the management of its fleet register to a private company located offshore. This fishing fleet operates in breach of Comorian law and is not monitored by the Comorian authorities. Further shortcomings exist in the country's legal framework, its system of sanctions, the management of fisheries resources, and in monitoring, controlling and surveillance.

The Commission has proposed a tailor-made action plan and given the Comoros and Taiwan six months to resolve the identified issues. If the shortcomings are not addressed within six months, the EU could consider trade sanctions on fisheries imports.

However, both Ghana and Papua New Guinea have successfully addressed the shortcomings in their fisheries governance system since receiving warnings from the Commission in November 2013 and June 2014 respectively. They have amended their legal frameworks to combat IUU fishing, strengthened their sanctioning systems, improved monitoring and control of their fleets and are now complying with international law.

Also, in a Communication adopted today on the key achievements of the IUU Regulation since its enforcement in 2010, the EU's leadership is shown to have clearly affected fishing around the world, decreased illegal activities and improved conditions for coastal communities who depend on fisheries.

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