Commission notifies the Republic of Ecuador over the need to step up action to fight illegal fishing

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Series Details IP/19/6036
Publication Date 30/10/2019
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The European Commission issued on 30 October 2019 a 'yellow card' against Ecuador, which notifies the country of the need to step up its actions in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

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The decision was based on identified shortcomings about Ecuador's ability to comply with agreed standards under international law of the sea as flag, port and market state. The country was thus encouraged to step up its actions to ensure that fish entering its market do not stem from IUU fishing. The Commission also identified limitations in the fisheries legal framework.

This stage does not entail any measures affecting trade. The 'yellow card' is a warning and offers Ecuador the chance to react and take measures to rectify the situation within a reasonable time. The mechanism to address IUU provides that in cases of continued non-compliance countries can ultimately face exclusion of their fish exports from the EU market (red card).

These actions are based on the European Union's so-called 'IUU Regulation'. Pursuant to its provisions, only fisheries products that have been certified as legal, can access the EU market. The Regulation also provides for specific dialogue mechanisms with the countries that are not complying with their obligations as flag, coastal, port and market State under international law.

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European Commission: Questions and Answers – Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and issues at stake in Ecuador, 30 October 2019

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