Friday, 24 February 2017 8:57 AM
EC Removes Solomon Islands 'Yellow Card'
The European Commission (EC) has decided to lift the 'yellow card' for Solomon Islands, recognising the significant progress the country has made in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The European Commission had warned Solomon Islands in December 2014 that they were not doing enough against IUU fishing.
Since then, Solomon Islands has 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, Solomon Islands has 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.