EU threatens to ban fish exports from Ghana over illegal practices


By Wisdom Deji-Folutile

The European Union Commission has issued a warning to Ghana over illegal fishing practices.

In the warning, the EU lamented what it described as “various shortcomings in Ghana’s ability to comply with its duties under international law”.

A communique signed by the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the EU Commission, Virginijus Sinkevičius, revealed that the European body had issued a threat to Ghana, stating that if measures are not taken, the EU market will stop allowing fish imports from the African country.

The statement read, “The Commission stands for zero tolerance for IUU fishing. Ghana plays an important role in fisheries governance in West Africa. Therefore, we stand ready to work with Ghana to address the threats IUU fishing poses to the sustainability of fish stocks, coastal communities, food security and the profits of those fishermen and women who follow the rules. Sustainable fisheries is key to better ocean governance.

“The yellow card is a warning and offers Ghana the opportunity to react and take measures to rectify the situation within a reasonable time. At this stage, the decision does not entail any measures affecting trade.

“However, in cases of prolonged and continued non-compliance, countries can ultimately face a procedure of identification (a so-called red card), which entails sanctions such as the prohibition to export their fishery products to the EU market.

“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is jeopardising the very foundation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the EU’s international efforts to promote better ocean governance. Under the European Green Deal and pursuing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, sea and marine resources, the Commission has committed to a zero-tolerance approach to IUU fishing.”

Ghana once received a yellow card in November 2013, which the EU lifted in October 2015 after the country addressed the relevant shortcomings.


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