The Pew Environment Group commends the European Union for its latest effort to stop illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. On Nov. 15, the European Commission published for the first time a list of countries that are failing to sufficiently fight IUU fishing, per international law.
The list comprises eight countries: Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo, and Vanuatu. Blacklisted countries will be barred from trading fisheries products with the European Union, from engaging in joint fishing operations or chartering agreements with EU vessels, and from other trade-related activities. Each listed country will have a chance to improve its performance on illegal fishing or contest its inclusion on the list.
“Illegal fishing is a major threat to the world's fish,” said Tony Long, head of the Pew Environment Group's global effort to end illegal fishing. “All too often, illegal fishers are able to operate with impunity due to lax enforcement at the State level. The European Commission, by publishing this list, is making it clear that it is serious about confronting countries that do not stop illegal fishing or continue to trade in illegally caught fish.”