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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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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.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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The European Council yesterday adopted a decision to remove Belize from the list of 'non-cooperating third countries' in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. This decision was taken pursuant to a recommendation by the

Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE) to remove Belize from this list in consideration of the concrete measures taken by Belize to rectify the deficiencies pointed out by the European Commission earlier this year.

This decision by the EU Council shall enter into force on December 18, 2014, the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This is the first case where a country is removed from the list of non-cooperating third countries through cooperation and on-going dialogue with the Commission; and it demonstrates that the EU system of bi-lateral cooperation and collaboration to assist third countries in fully implementing the IUU Regulation is indeed effective and bearing fruit. Since the pre-identification of Belize by the EU, the Commission has provided guidance to Belize in developing its legal framework and implementing the necessary measures to rectify the deficiencies that existed before. Working in partnership with the Commission, Belize has demonstrated a strong commitment to fighting IUU fishing and has significantly improved its ability to tackle this problem. The implementation of these new management and control mechanisms will greatly assist the work of the Belize Administration and will serve to ensure that IUU fishing has no place in Belize's high seas fisheries. It is an unequivocal demonstration to the world that Belize takes its obligations under international law seriously; as the same laws also provide for Belize's sovereign and inalienable right to fish on the high seas.

IUU fishing poses a significant threat to the sustainable exploitation of global marine resources and jeopardizes the food security of all nations. As such, the responsibility to fight IUU fishing can only be achieved through the multilateral effort of all nations; and the leaders of responsible fishing nations including Belize must therefore be applauded as they endeavor to eradicate the scourge of IUU fishing.

The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon Dean Barrow, has welcomed the decision of the European Council of Ministers to de-list Belize and has pledged to continue the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

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