Ghana was last year banned from exporting fish to the European Union due to fallen standards for practicing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).
The IUU is a major threat to global marine resources as overfishing destroys the livelihoods of many communities who depend on fisheries.
It is estimated that between 11 and 26 million tons of fish are caught illegally a year, corresponding to at least 15 percent of world catches.
As the world’s largest importer of fisheries products, the EU has adopted a firm stance against illegal fishing worldwide. No access of fisheries products is allowed to the EU market unless they are certified as legally fished.
Such trade sanctions are currently in place for Cambodia, Guinea and Sri Lanka, which received a red card from the Commission.
European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said the decisions demonstrated the determination of the EU to bring important players on board in the fight against IUU fishing.
He said both Ghana and Papua New Guinea had taken ownership of their fisheries reforms and now had robust legal and policy frameworks in place to fight IUU fishing activities.
?I am calling on the authorities of the Comoros and Taiwan to follow their example and join the European Union in promoting legal and sustainable fisheries worldwide,? he said.
According to the Commission, Ghana and Papua New Guinea have amended their legal frameworks to combat IUU fishing, strengthened their sanctioning systems, improved monitoring and control of their fleets and are now complying with international law.
Ghana and Papua New Guinea join the growing list of countries (Korea, the Philippines, Fiji, Belize, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu) that have reformed their systems, following a warning by the EU.
Fighting illegal fishing is part of the EU’s drive to ensure the sustainable use of the sea and its resources, in line with the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and better governance of the oceans worldwide. Enditem