MEP Cope Gallagher states the measure will have a deterrent effect for countries engaged in overfishing. (Photo: European Union)
Import ban from countries allowing overfishing supported
Friday, July 13, 2012, 02:30 (GMT + 9)
The Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament (EP) expressed agreement about the possibility to ban fish imports from nations that allow the over-exploitation of fishery resources.
MEPs unanimously supported an agreement that will allow the European Commission (EC) to restrict imports of fish and derived products coming from common interest reserves, where Community fishing vessels operate along with third country ships.
Furthermore, the ban will be implemented on those resources known as 'associated species', whose definition is expanded to cover all the fish from the same ecosystem as the reserve of general interest, the agency EFE reported.
The agreement has the support of Parliament and of the countries belonging to the European Union (EU). At present, the formal approval by the full Parliament, who will cast their vote in September, and the Council’s decision are expected.
The action taken is related to the excesses in mackerel captures in the North-Eastern Atlantic from Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
According to the presenter of the text in the Fisheries Committee, Cope Gallagher, the agreement will allow the adoption of effective trade sanctions and will have a deterrent effect for those countries engaged in overfishing.
"I strongly believe that the agreed text will provide effective and viable trade sanctions that will function as a real deterrence tool for those countries that engage in unsustainable fishing practices now and in the future," he said.
"The dispute on mackerel in the Northeast Atlantic is the driving force of these new measures. However, I hope they will never be used against Iceland and the Faroe Islands," the Irish MEP added.
The agreement also includes additional sanctions, such as restricting the entrance of vessels from a non-complying country into European ports or the transport of fish from overexploited stocks.
- Agreement negotiated to impose sanctions against Faroes, Iceland
By Analia Murias