Press conference by Maria Damanaki on the fight against illegal fishing
At the EC press briefing of 15 November 2012, Maria Damanaki, Member of the EC in charge of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, announced that the European Commission has stepped up its action to fight illegal fishing worldwide by warning eight third countries that they risk being identified as countries it considers non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The countries in question are Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu. This decision is the first of its kind and it highlights that these countries are not doing enough to fight illegal fishing. It identifies concrete shortcomings, such as lack of dialogue or lack of actions to address deficiencies in monitoring, controlling and surveillance of fisheries, and suggests corrective actions to resolve them.
The eight countries have been notified and given a reasonable time to respond and take measures to rectify the situation. Should the situation not improve, the EU could take further steps, which could entail trade measures such as a ban on selling fisheries products to the EU.