Extracts from the press conference by Maria Damanaki on the fight against illegal fishing

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-075284   Duration: 10:03:39  Lieu:
End production: 15/11/2012   First transmission: 15/11/2012
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.

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10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 Arrival of Maria Damanaki, Member of the EC in charge of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) saying that the Commission adopted a Decision indicating to 8 third countries that their track record in tackling illegal fishing is insufficient; these countries are the following: Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu; for the Commission, there are strong indications that these countries are not fulfilling their duties as flag, coastal, port or market States, duties that are laid down in international law, such as the provisions of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations; this opinion stems from a thorough analysis of each country's compliance that also took into account their level of development; with all these countries there are ongoing discussions since 2010; the eight countries are now given an opportunity to formally respond, refute and take measures to rectify the situation. 00:01:17
10:01:22 Cutaway of press 00:00:04
10:01:27 SOUNDBITE by Maria Damanaki (in ENGLISH) saying that the countries are not blacklisted- they are rather being shown a "yellow card"; this decision does not entail any trade-affecting measures, it rather points out the countries' shortcomings and suggests corrective actions; the EC has proposed an action plan for each country and is initiating a procedure of dialogue and cooperation with an end to correct the situation; they will then assess each country's progress on an individual basis; the first progress report is expected within 6 months, then they are going to examine the possibility of further measures. 00:00:48
10:02:16 Cutaway 00:00:04
10:02:20 SOUNDBITE by Maria Damanaki (in ENGLISH) saying that illegal fishing is a huge problem; illegal fishing counts the 19% of the whole catches worldwide; saying that she hopes other nations will follow suit: illegal fishing is indeed prohibited by international rules. 00:00:23
10:02:43 Cutaway 00:00:05
10:02:48 SOUNDBITE by Maria Damanaki (in ENGLISH) on the question of further measures: saying that after six months, the Commission is going to have the first report assessing the situation; this is something that has already happened, for instance, Indonesia has been working with the Commission for a year, so the country is not on the list; if countries are cooperative, it will be fine; if not, then the Commission is going to propose to the Council to take trade measures against these countries; so the next stage won't be a yellow card, it could be painful; but she would like to think that the Commission is going to achieve cooperation with these countries. 00:00:50
10:03:39 Cutaway 00:00:05
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