The European Commission has identified the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as a non-cooperating country in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, handing it a Red Card.
The decision is based on the EU’s IUU Regulation, which provides for a cooperation framework with countries to address IUU fishing and ensures that only legally caught fisheries products can access the EU market.
The listing follows from the lack of progress in addressing the serious shortcomings outlined in the pre-identification decision of Trinidad and Tobago as a non-cooperating country, adopted in April 2016. Despite the support of the EU to Trinidad and Tobago under the IUU dialogue, both in relation to the revision of the legal framework and in monitoring, control and surveillance, sufficient progress to satisfy the requirements under the IUU legislation has not been made.
Notably, Trinidad and Tobago has failed to enact an adequate legal framework regulating the activities of the national fishing fleet in and beyond waters under national jurisdiction nor the activities of third countries’ fishing vessels in national ports. Other persistent shortcomings relate to the lack of adequate control over the national fishing fleet and the foreign fishing fleets calling to port in the country as well as the lack of necessary measures for the cessation and prevention of IUU fishing activities.
‘The Commission is strongly committed to sustainable fisheries and efficient ocean governance. We have zero tolerance for IUU fishing and today the Commission has taken firm action by giving Trinidad and Tobago a red card,’ said Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius.
‘We remain ready to continue our dialogue with Trinidad and Tobago to address the threats that IUU fishing poses to the sustainability of fish stocks, coastal communities, food security and the livelihoods of fishers who abide by the rules.’
Following the procedure of identification, the Commission has proposed to the Council to formally list Trinidad and Tobago as a non-cooperating country in accordance with Article 33 of the IUU Regulation.