After four and half years of close co-operation, the European Commission is lifting Kiribati’s yellow card, the official warning issued by the European Union to trading partners falling short of tackling IUU fishing. By lifting the card, the European Commission recognises the important progress of Kiribati in addressing the shortcomings in its fisheries governance.
‘I stand for zero tolerance on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. I am therefore happy to acknowledge Kiribati’s efforts in this joint fight. They have cooperated actively with the Commission and addressed effectively the shortcomings in their fisheries control system, becoming a new ally in delivering healthier oceans and a level playing field for those fishers that play by the rules,’ said Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius.
Under the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU) Regulation, the European Commission warned Kiribati in April 2016 that not enough was being done concerning IUU fishing. Since then, Kiribati embarked on a series of reforms to bring their fisheries control legislation in line with international law, and is now equipped to deal with illegal fishing effectively.
In co-operation with the European Commission, Kiribati has reviewed its fisheries legal framework and established a sanctioning system acting as a strong deterrent.
Furthermore, traceability has been improved throughout the supply chain by strengthening the controls at ports and introducing a new system of catch certification.