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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
EU warns Central America against illegal fishing
Panama - The European Union (EU) warned the Central American fishing sector that those countries that facilitate illegal fishing will not be able to accede to the European market as of next year, said a European representative.
According to estimates, the EU imports EUR 1.2 billion in seafood products per year, 19 per cent of which are suspected of being the product of illegal fishing or “poaching.”
In 2010 a new regulation will force the country of origin, or the one corresponding to the flag of the ship that seeks to introduce its captures into the EU, to certify that its merchandise has not been captured illegally or in protected areas.
“This regulation is a series of control mechanisms, follow-up and responsibility measures that look to regulate and close the European market to poaching,” said Cesar Deben, Director of Fisheries and Marine Affairs of the European Commission, following a meeting held between Thursday and Friday.
The EU seeks to “blacklist” countries that do not fulfil the new directives, and those that do not cooperate in the fight against illegal fishing “will have their access to the European market and the boats they hold in their pavilion closed off, in addition to any possibility of economic cooperation in the fishing sector,” Deben added.
“Whoever does not fulfil the legislation is going to see their activity dwindle considerably in the future,” said Juan Manuel Vieites, who presides over the European Tropical Tuna Trade and Industry Committee (EUROATUN).
Illegal fishing around the world generates USD 10 billion annually and “the Europeans import USD 2 billion annually and have estimated that 19 per cent are from poaching and we cannot accept it,” Deben explained.
“This regulation must be seen as an opportunity to say to the world that we all want to work legally,” contended Mario Gonzalez Resino, Central American director of fisheries and aquaculture of the Central American Integration System.
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