Karmenu Vella, EU Fisheries Commissioner. (Photo: Stock File)
EC removes Curacao and Solomon Islands' 'yellow cards'
Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 22:40 (GMT + 9)
The European Commission (EC) has decided to lift the 'yellow cards' for Curaçao and Solomon Islands, recognising the significant progress both countries have made in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The European Commission had warned Curaçao in November 2013 and Solomon Islands in December 2014 that they were not doing enough against IUU fishing.
Since then, both countries have undertaken a series of reforms to bring their fisheries legal and administrative frameworks in line with international law, and are now equipped to tackle illegal fishing effectively.
Working closely with the European Commission, they have strengthened their sanctioning system, and have improved monitoring and control of their fleets.
The IUU Regulation is the EU's main tool in the fight against illegal fishing. It encourages countries to work with the European Commission to improve their fisheries governance and retain access to the EU's market, which is the world's biggest importer of fisheries products.
IUU fishing threatens global fish populations and penalises fishermen who observe the rules. It is estimated that the global value of IUU fishing is about EUR 10 billion per year, up to 15 per cent of catches worldwide.
With the decision today, Curaçao and Solomon Islands join the growing list of countries that have reformed their fisheries governance systems following a warning by the EU, among which are Sri Lanka, Ghana, Guinea, Papua New Guinea, Korea, the Philippines, Fiji, Belize, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu.