The European Union (EU) has issued a formal warning or “yellow card” to the Philippines and Papua New Guinea for their practices of illegal fishing.
The EU warned on Tuesday that both countries face an import ban if they do not curb their illegal methods of fishing.
Unregulated fishing remains highly rampant in both Papua New Guinea and in the Philippines, one of the world’s largest fishing nations; ranking 12th globally.
The European Commission noted that talks with both countries had failed to progress, hence, the issuance of the formal warning.
It said further that both countries must reach European Union standards on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. If the Philippines and PNG fail to do so “through dialogue and cooperation … then the EU can proceed to trade measures,” it said.
The progress of the two countries will be reviewed in six months time to determine whether they have moved forward with action plans given by the EU.
In March, the EU banned fish imports from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea for “acting insufficiently against illegal fishing.”
Panama, Fiji, Togo, Sri Lanka and Vanuatu received similar warnings in 2012 and South Korea, Ghana and Curacao in 2013. The Commission said on Tuesday that most of these countries had “cooperated constructively” with Brussels.
Up to 15 percent of the annual world catch is from illegal fishing.
Environmental damage and unbridled population growth are significant factors contributing to increasing pressures on fisheries in the Philippines and PNG.
Meanwhile, the EU imports about 65 percent of its seafood. In 2013, the EU imported 165 million euros worth of fish from the Philippines,and 108 million euros worth from PNG.