The European Union has warned Trinidad and Tobago that it risks being “uncooperative” in the fight against illegal fishing.
In addition to the Caribbean island, the EU has also warned Kiribati and Sierra Leone that they will receive the yellow card for being “uncooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing”.
European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said the “decisions are yet another sign of the EU’s determination to fight illegal fishing globally”.
The EU said Trinidad and Tobago had a large fleet operating internationally where authorities did not control or inspect foreign vessels, nor cooperated with relevant flag states.
“The poor traceability system also causes the risk of laundering of fisheries products,” the EU said, adding that it was proposing a tailor-made action plan that would help put in place robust fisheries management control systems for these countries.
“If identified issues are not resolved within six months, the EU can consider taking further steps, including trade sanctions on fisheries imports.”
The EU said that its decision was based on its IUU Regulation, which entered into force in 2010. This key instrument in the fight against illegal fishing ensures that only fisheries products that have been certified as legal can access the EU market.