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Momentous Illegal Fishing Sanctions out of the EU

December 9, 2013

As I slowly return to the blogging game after a few months of putting together PhD applications, taking the GRE, and engaging in roughly 75% travel, I find some truly refreshing news in the world of natural resource crime.  The European Union, after having warned a number of fishing nations for bad behavior, is now moving forward with formal trade sanctions against three bad apples.

The countries now at clear risk for losing access to EU markets for their fisheries products are: Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea. As World Fishing reports:

The EC has now proposed to the Council of Ministers to adopt trade measures against the three countries in order to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from these illegal activities. Ultimately, fisheries products caught by vessels from these countries will be banned from being imported into the EU.

This development is made more interesting when we consider that these countries had, apparently, entered into cooperative engagements with the European Commission to act in good faith and to take corrective action.  The same happened with other countries to much better result. Again, World Fishing News:

Fiji, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu also received formal warnings last year, but they have all made credible progress in close cooperation with the EC. They have set in motion new legislation and improved their monitoring, control and inspection systems and, as a result, dialogue with these countries has been extended until the end of February 2014, with progress to be evaluated next spring.

The EU is the 2nd largest market for seafood in the world (after China and before Japan and the U.S.). This proposal, if enacted into law, would be a major blow to fishing companies in these countries and surely a source of international embarrassment for their leaders. 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2013 12:07 pm

    Good luck with the phd applications. This is indeed good news and pretty unprecedented – a sign that illegal fishing has been recognised as one of the most important problems to achieving the goal of sustainability in fisheries. Even better news is that the Republic of Korea, one of the world’s most powerful fishing nations, has been put on notice by the EU that it may be next in the list of non-cooperating fishing nations unless it cleans up its act.

    • December 12, 2013 12:22 pm

      Very good point, Mercedes! It is quite a big deal indeed to so publicly call out a big player like S. Korea.

      Btw, I checked out your blog. Great stuff. I look forward to following.

      • February 6, 2014 5:11 pm

        Thanks Mark – sorry it’s taken me so long to reply, I don’t seem to get messages on the House of Ocean website and I have found this only by chance because I am following you on Twitter! I hope the phd is going well by the way.

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