A fisherman unloding a tuna catch. (Photo: Undersecretariat of Fisheries Resources))
Minister announces action plan to get the EU 'yellow card' lifted
Thursday, December 05, 2019, 00:10 (GMT + 9)
The National Government and the private sector announced the Action Plan that they will execute to reverse the sanction of the yellow card imposed by the European Union and protect tuna exports to this block.
The announcement was made the morning of December 3, 2019, at a press conference in the city of Guayaquil.
Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries, Iván Ontaneda said that this is Ecuador's first official response to the European Commission.
"We have a clear and articulated roadmap with the private sector that allows us to quantify the times and deadlines to get out of this wake-up call," he said.
He added that for the execution of this plan, which will be delivered next week to the European authorities, the country will allocate USD 18 million.
The action is mainly framed within the strategy to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). Satellite monitoring and analysis of the tuna industry database are two of the main points of the plan.
Bruno Leone, president of the National Chamber of Fisheries, said that a crisis committee has been formed between the fishing and industrial union and government entities to devise actions that are aligned with the protection of tuna exports.
Ecuador is the first tuna exporting country in the Eastern Pacific. Sales up to September 2019 reflected USD 1,121 million, representing 13% of the country's total non-oil exports.
In February 2020, an Ecuadorian delegation will travel to Europe to meet with the authorities of the bloc and by March the arrival of EU observers is expected to review compliance.
The 'yellow card ’was issued on October 30 after detecting deficiencies in the Andean country to ensure that its exports to the European block do not come from illegal fishing activities.
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