The European commission has decided to end its sanctions on Belize over non-cooperation in fighting illegal, unregulated and unrestricted IUU fishing.
The sanctions were implemented in March and required commitment and changes on the part of regulatory bodies.
“The commission confirmed that Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu, which had received warnings at the same time as Sri Lanka, have successfully taken measures to tackle illegal fishing.” “Consequently, the commission proposes to lift the trade measures imposed in March this year against Belize.”
According to the commission, “Belize has demonstrated its commitment to reforming its legal framework and adopting a new set of rules for inspection, control and monitoring of vessel.”.
In the case of Belize, the sanctions had caused Thai Union Frozen Products to try and reflag four of its vessels, owned by MW Brands. However, both Thai Union and Spain’s Pevasa — whose vessel Playa de Azkorri flies the Belize flag — had said the ban did not affect their operations.
However, the commission announced it has decided to impose sanctions onto Sri Lanka for its lack of progress in fighting IUU, while extending its deadline for South Korea, Ghana and Curacao to January 2015.