EU bans fish from Sri Lanka

“The EU will stop importing fish products from Sri Lanka in three months, the European Commission announced on Tuesday. Sri Lanka has not made “credible progress” since the commission warned it to do more to fight illegal fishing. Fish imports from Sri Lanka were worth €74 million in 2013″

Here is an extract from the press statement

“In November 2012, we sent a warning to Sri Lanka. They were not complying with international rules on illegal fishing and their control systems were inadequate.

Two years later, not much has changed. The same problems are still there and are even getting worse. Sri Lanka is now authorizing huge vessels to fish in the Indian Ocean without marine GPS (VMS). This renders control totally impossible.

Sri Lanka is the second biggest exporter of fresh and chilled swordfish and tuna to the EU (74 million € of imports in 2013). In those circumstances we cannot tolerate not to know whether the fish they import into the EU was caught sustainably or not. EU citizens have the right to know what lands on their plate.

So today, the Commission goes to the next level: we are formally identifying Sri Lanka in the fight against illegal fishing. Fisheries products caught by vessels flagged in Sri Lanka will not be able to enter the EU market after three months’ time from now. The Council will, by that time, have the possibility to confirm and extend the depth and scope of the trade measures.”