The European Parliament's fisheries committee today approved a new rapid procedure for listing countries not cooperating in the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing (IUU). This clears the way for the Commission to add additional countries to the current list (1) and to publish the list of vessels involved. Commenting after the vote, Green fisheries spokesperson and EP draftsperson/rapporteur for the file Räul Romeva stated:
“The EU fishing black-list is a crucial tool for clamping down on illegal fishing and MEPs have to day given the go-ahead to a rapid procedure for adding countries to this list. In addition to the addition of new countries, MEPs also cleared the way for the publication of the list of vessels involved in illegal fishing. This would be a crucial for efforts to address the problem.
"The Greens now call on the Commission to expand their current list to include other countries for which there is clear evidence of illegal fishing, notably South Korea. With repeated allegations of illegal fishing and related human rights abuses, notably in West African waters, the European Commission must add South Korea to the blacklist. It must also finally publicly list those vessels engaging in IUU fishing.
“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing remains a major threat to vulnerable fish stocks, accounting for up to one-third of global catches. While the EU has introduced tougher rules against IUU fishing, illegal fishing continues to be a major problem, also within the EU fishing industry. EU fisheries companies have vessels flagged in or operating out of some of the countries listed today (and other countries with a lax approach to illegal fishing), enabling them to evade EU regulations.
“If the countries on the list do not make swift improvements, the Commission must propose sanctions, including – but not limited to – trade sanctions.”
(1) The list comprises 8 countries: Belize, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Fiji, the Republic of Guinea, the Republic of Panama, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Togolese Republic and the Republic of Vanuatu.