EU halts trade with countries using unsustainable fishing practicing

April 30, 2004, as reported by The EU has announced it will not tolerate and not trade with countries not abiding internationally-sanctioned sustainable fishing practices. The EU has said it has banned the import of tuna and swordfish products from “countries whose fishing activities undermine international efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks in a sustainable manner”.

The countries and fish species targeted by the trade sanctions are: Bolivia, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Georgia and Sierra Leone in respect of Atlantic bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus); Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone in respect of Atlantic blue-fin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and Sierra Leone in respect of Atlantic swordfish (Xiphias gladius).

Trade restrictions currently in place on imports from Belize, Honduras and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are to be lifted following action by these countries to bring their fishing practices into line with internationally agreed guidelines.

"Today's efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks are essential to make sure we still have fish in the sea tomorrow. Sustainable fishing is the responsibility of all of us. With today's decision the EU is honouring the commitments taken under internationally agreed measures to that end," said EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy.

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