COA Minister Chen Chi-chung (fifth left) is joined by Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Wu-chiao Hsieh (second left), EETO head Madeleine Majorenko (fourth left) and other officials in giving the thumbs-up to Taiwan’s removal from the EC illegal fishing warning list June 27 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of COA)
Taiwan was removed from the European Commission’s warning list for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing June 27, underscoring the effectiveness of government measures aimed at bringing local industry practices in line with global standards.
The Fisheries Agency under the Council of Agriculture said the recognition is a vote of confidence in efforts to reform Taiwan’s legal framework, implement new controls and improve the traceability of marine products. It similarly bodes well for the country’s fisheries exports to the EU, the agency added.
Under IUU Regulations implemented in 2010, noncertified fisheries products are banned from the EU market—the world’s largest for such products.
The agency said two sides also agreed to establish a joint working group for cooperation on IUU-related matters at the multilateral, regional and subregional levels.
As a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan is committed to partnering with the EC and global regulatory bodies to ensure the integrity of the fisheries ecosystem and promote sustainable industry development, the agency added.
According to EC, Taiwan was included on the warning list in October 2015 largely due to legal framework deficiencies and lack of effective monitoring, control and surveillance of its long-distance fleet.
Subsequent structural reforms are a major step forward, the EC said, adding that they send a strong message given Taiwan’s long-distance fleet is the second largest in the world and occupies a central position in the global supply chain for fisheries products.
EC statistics reveal that 11 to 26 million tons of fish are caught illegally each year, corresponding to at least 15 percent of the global catch.