Today, the European Commission added the Philippines and Papua New Guinea to the list of countries failing to tackle Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU). Both countries must now demonstrate that they have taken adequate measures to address IUU fishing and if identified shortcomings are not addressed, they could face a ban of fish and fish products exports into EU markets.
Xavier Pastor, executive director of Oceana in Europe, stated: “Today, the EU Commission confirmed its dedication to the fight against IUU fishing, sending a strong message that their previous actions to tackle IUU were not singular acts but part of a long term policy. It is now up to the Filipino and Papuan governments to radically improve and take a strong stance against IUU activities in their waters and by their fleet. Disrupting this destructive activity will improve local fishermen’s livelihoods and increase fish stocks.”
The EU has already closed its markets to fish and fish products from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea. These countries were “red-listed” as non-cooperating after spending time on the yellow card country list. The Philippines and Papua New Guinea will join eight other countries that have been yellow carded and are now under “probation”: Korea, Ghana and Curacao (added in November 2013), and Fiji, Sri Lanka, Togo, Panama and Vanuatu (added in November 2012).
IUU activities costs between 7 and 17 billion Euros annually, representing 11 to 26 million tons of catchon a global scale. In 2010, the EU put in place a powerful legal instrument, Council Regulation 1005/2008 (the “EU IUU Regulation”), that tackles IUU fishing worldwide. This regulation allows the EU to put in place pioneering measures including the closure of EU borders to fish and fish product originating in countries not cooperating in the international fight against IUU fishing thought a yellow and red card system.