Guinea’s red card ready to be lifted

Guinea’s red card ready to be lifted

The European Commission has proposed lifting the red card status on the Republic of Guinea, following significant improvements to its national fisheries governance with measures against IUU fishing.

‘This is an important decision for the Commission and for the Republic of Guinea, and good news for sustainable fisheries around the globe,’ commented European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella. ‘After a long dialogue process Guinea has shown real commitment to fighting illegal fishing. We encourage them to join us in our ongoing work to promote improved ocean governance, including legal and sustainable fisheries worldwide.’

The Republic of Guinea was warned by the Commission in November 2012 of the risk of being considered a non-cooperating country, with a yellow card. It was listed a year later with a red-card for inadequate action, blocking exports to the world’s largest importer of seafood products.

The proposal to lift Guinea’s red card follows several years of dialogue. Guinea is judged to have successfully addressed the shortcomings in its fisheries governance. In particular, it has revised its legal framework to combat IUU fishing, strengthened its sanctioning system, improved monitoring and control of its fleet and waters, and is now complying with international law.

Guinea has also ratified the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), an important tool under the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that prevents illegal fish from being landed in the country’s ports. This international agreement entered into force last month.

As a result of these changes the Commission has proposed to end formal discussions with Guinea and remove it from the list of non-cooperating countries. The Commission has stated that it looks forward to continued cooperation with this partner in the fight against IUU fishing.