EU to ban fisheries products from SL. Here are the reasons
October 16, 2014 11:32 am
The European Union (EU) says that three month period given to Sri Lanka prior to ban imports of fisheries products from is a further opportunity to cooperate and implement the necessary changes.
According to sources, the EU imported 7.400 tonnes of fish from Sri Lanka in 2013 with a total value of €74 million. Sri Lanka is one of the biggest exporters to the EU of high value fishery products such as fresh and chilled swordfish, tuna and tuna-like species.
However, Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that Sri Lankan will comply with the EC standards and deal with IUU fishing vessels soon before three months deadline.
(Question and Answers on the EU’s fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing)
Why has the Commission decided to identify Sri Lanka as a non-cooperating third country?
The Commission’s decision to identify Sri Lanka as a non-cooperating third country was taken after a thorough analysis of this country’s stance as regards the fight against illegal fishing, and following a formal warning from the Commission in November 2012. Sri Lanka was given a reasonable period of time, which included an extended period of formal cooperation, within which to react and to resolve the problem issues identified.
The Commission initiated its preliminary investigation with Sri Lanka as early as in 2010. Since then, and especially after the warning in 2012, the Commission has worked, through dialogue and cooperation, with Sri Lanka. However, the country has not made credible progress to address shortcomings like:
• failures to implement international law obligations (Law of the Sea)
• lack of an adequate and efficient vessel monitoring system;
• lack of deterrent sanction scheme for the high seas fleet;
• Non-compliance with international obligations including Regional
Fisheries Management Organisations (IOTC) recommendations and resolutions.
What does this listing of Sri Lanka mean in practice?
In practice this means that Member States’ authorities will refuse import of fisheries products when the trade ban enters into force 3 months after the Commission decision has been published in the EU’s Official Journal. This three month period also gives Sri Lanka a further opportunity to cooperate and implement the necessary changes.
The EU imported 7.400 tonnes of fish from Sri Lanka in 2013 with a total value of €74 million. Sri Lanka is one of the biggest exporters to the EU of high value fishery products such as fresh and chilled swordfish, tuna and tuna-like species.
Further measures are proposed to the Council, to accompany the trade ban. These include a ban on fishing in the waters of Sri Lanka by EU flagged vessels, on joint fishing operations, on the reflagging of EU vessels to Sri Lanka, and on fisheries agreements. These additional measures will enter into force once the Council has adopted them.