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European Commission Exposes Countries that Aid Illegal Fishing

Press Release
European Commission Exposes Countries that Aid Illegal Fishing

Related Experts

  • Tony Long

    Tony Long

    Director, Ending Illegal Fishing Project

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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.”  

Related News and Resources

  • Pew Praises Ratification of Treaty to Fight Illegal Fishing Worldwide

    • Press Release
    • Apr 03, 2014
    The United States Senate on April 3 took a strong stand in the global fight against illegal fishing by ratifying a treaty that will prevent illegally caught fish from entering the market through ports around the world. The treaty, called the Port State Measures Agreement, or PSMA, also would empower port officials to prohibit foreign vessels that are suspected of illegal activity from receiving port services and access. By cutting off market access for illegally caught fish, the treaty will erode the profit incentive that drives the activity.


  • EU Bans Fish Imports from 3 Countries

    • Press Release
    • Mar 24, 2014
    Today the Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and WWF welcome a decision by the European Union Fisheries Council, comprising all 28 fisheries ministers, to ban the importation of fish from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea for their failure to cooperate in fighting illegal, unreported, and unregulated, or IUU, fishing.


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