Kiribati has had its official warning for failing to effectively tackle illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing rescinded by the European Union on Monday, while St Vincent according to the EU, has failed to take sufficient measures to lift yellow or red cards.
Kiribati lifting follows a four-and-a-half-year cooperation between the two parties to help the central Pacific Ocean nation address shortcomings in its fisheries governance.
The warning, also known as a “yellow card,” was issued to Kiribati in April 2016, with the E.U. informing the archipelagic country that it was not doing enough to combat IUU fishing.
The European Commission had issued seafood trade restrictions to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines due to the commission’s judgment that the island nation was not taking adequate steps to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Out of the 27 warning procedures that have started since 2012 including Ecuador, Panama, Thailand, and Taiwan only three countries have failed to take sufficient measures to lift yellow or red cards – St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cambodia and Comoros.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were given action plans by the E.C. in October 2015 and December 2014, respectively. However, the island have not taken adequate action to avoid red card, the commission said.
The European Commission had decided to issue a red card to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines due to the lack of control by the authorities of vessels flying the country’s flag, it had said in 2015.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2017 was identified as non-cooperating third countries under the EU’s regulation to fight and deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, commented in 2017:
“For Saint Vincent and the Grenadines the decision comes due to the lack of control by the authorities of vessels flying their flag. These vessels operate all over the Atlantic and offload their catches in Trinidad and Tobago (which has already been warned in order to improve control over activities in its ports). Effectively, these vessels elude any control over their activities. This raises the concern that they are involved in illegal practices. Two vessels from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are already on the international vessel “black list” compiled by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations. Similarly to the Comoros, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines do not export fish to the EU”.