Red card to Sri Lanka: European Commission announces severe fishing trade sanctions
Posted on October 16th, 2014

by greenpeace

Greenpeace welcomed today’s announcement by the European Commission that it will take a tougher stance against the government of Sri Lanka for its failure to co-operate in the global fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The sanctions will extend beyond seafood import bans, covering all fisheries-related business with Sri Lankan companies and fishing vessels. Any such business between EU fishing companies and Sri Lanka must, as a result of today’s decision, be put on halt.
Saskia Richartz, Greenpeace EU oceans policy director said: “The EU is a major market for seafood products from all over the world. It has a duty to protect the environment and consumers and improve labour standards, regardless of whether it is producing its own seafood or buying it from others. Where diplomatic efforts fail, the EU is right to ban the imports of products from countries like Sri Lanka that fail to manage their fisheries properly.”

The Commission’s decision to identify Sri Lanka as a non-cooperating third country is based on an analysis of its failings in fisheries governance, which include the lack of fishing licenses for distant water vessels, the lack of an effective vessel monitoring system, repeated cases of IUU fishing by its vessels, the failure to report to the relevant regional fisheries management organisation and failures to implement obligations under international law.

Richartz added: “Many EU-based companies invest and maintain joint fishing operations with companies and vessels registered in countries which are weak on fisheries governance. The EU should do more to identify and prevent investments into fishing activities that are unsustainable, unequitable or even illegal.”

The Commission also announced that it would lift warnings against Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu as a result of substantial improvements in their fisheries governance. Korea, Curacao and Ghana have been given more time to improve their governance before import bans may be considered.

The EU imports almost as much as seafood as it catches: over 5.5 million tonnes of fisheries and aquaculture products from outside the EU, worth in total over 19 billion Euros every year, most of it frozen or tinned.

17 Responses to “Red card to Sri Lanka: European Commission announces severe fishing trade sanctions”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Who says that Sri Lanka fails to manage their Fisheries properly ? This is a canard.

    Sri lanka is always at the receiving end of reprimands, by people with high sounding titles (like Director) suffering from Tamil Terrorist Pin-Worm Syndrome.

  2. Nanda Says:

    yeah 1 I thought it was the Endian Tamil Parasites who were using illegal bottom trawler or something with the instruction of JayaLalitha the THIEF MINISTER hero of Tamils in Nadu !

    Why is that we have to pay for this Indian sins ?
    Where is our fisheries mini-gangster ?

  3. Nanda Says:

    Are you OK and well now ?

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Yes Nanda, Iam pulling on with a pinched nerve pain, taking pain killer Hydrocodone at times. It started from 1st August 2013. I had the nerves synged at the back of my head, and ten days later a Cervical Epidural injection on my spine on the neck. Last November, I thought I was going, that is why you did not see me on LW for a long time. I can say Iam OK now. Thanks for your concerns, Nanda. Iam on Skype:-susantha.wijesinghe55

  5. Nanda Says:

    “Sri Lanka is now authorizing huge vessels to fish in the Indian Ocean without marine GPS (VMS). This renders control totally impossible,” the Commissioner said. ”

    – is this a sign of Fisheries Mini(gang)ster getting his due share ? Must investigate.

  6. Nimal Says:

    We must cooperate and comply with any agreement that would save the fish stocks in the’s not unreasonable to comply.Same should be applied to safeguard the wild life.
    I noticed in areas close to Galgamuwa,once inhabited by the elephant and deer are being used for cultivation in a large scale.Over productions of B Onions in those areas have become a political issue,just as a over production of potatoes in the up country areas.Sadly a success had turned in to a negative political factor by blaming the government which is not fair.
    I wonder if you could turn potatoes in to pure alcohol that could be used drive generators or turn in to ethanol that could be used to fuel vehicles.Perhaps Gosl could seek US help on this?

  7. NAK Says:

    This is hypocrisy at its best both from the EU and green peace. SL should tell them to go to hell and seek to sell the fish to Russia.

  8. Christie Says:

    Last night I spoke to the contact person for this report on EU site. She was talking about their criteria and reasons for their decisions. 1. I explained to her that Dutch fleet is the worst in the world when it comes to destroying the ocean habitat and over fishing. 2. EU is pitting smaller nations against each other to exploit them, green cards for Fiji etc. 3. EU is siding with India when India should be banned; for illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters. She wanted me to write to her but unfortunately I do not have the resources. Here again India and Indians are attacking the small island nation. Leading fresh fish exporters in Ceylon are Indians. Now they can export the same fish through India.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    “Leading fresh fish exporters in Ceylon are Indians. Now they can export the same fish through India.”

    TRUE. This is the REAL motive behind this. MAKE IN ENDIA!

    Agree with NAK. We should export to Russia, China, middle east.

  10. Nimal Says:

    We must co operate to control the fish stocks.Green peace people I know are very genuine and they will sacrifice their lives to prevent over fishing by countries like Japan.Having a sizable amount of marine life cleanse the ever polluting waters of the seas and we must all act now together.In UK many fishing trawler owners have gone bust because the EU agreed rules are preventing them over fishing and we can’t be bloody minded about this.I would be happy if the international forces confiscate the vessels of the counties that may not adhere to the agreements.Lawlessness should not be condoned.Think of the poor animals and the marine life that can’t speak for them selves?

  11. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Where are the foreign Ministry officials and Sri Lankan representation in EU? Our trade secretary to the Sri Lankan embassy in EU should have taken action immediately to prevent this. These officials are so ignorant and they always wait for disaster like this to happen. They are good at attacking Dr Chris Nonis nothing else.

  12. Sooriarachi Says:

    I do not understand why EU is continuing to buy fish from Tamilnadu, which is violating all regulations on fishing practices, including bottom trawling and raiding on the neighbouring country’s fishery resources. Strangely the country that is punished is the victim of such practices and not the perpetrator.
    Could this be a political decision rather than action to control illegal fishing practices. Anyway the Sri Lankan officials are to be blamed for not being able to brief the EU of the true situation.

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    We were RIGHT!

    Well done SL.

    Russia has agreed to buy fish from Sri Lanka.

    This has been agreed at a discussion between the Minister Rajitha Senaratne and the Russian Ambassador in Sri Lanka

    He is supposed to discuss this with the Chinese Ambassador and the E U Ambassador.”


    EU and US fools imposed sanctions on everyone and now everyone else is getting together!! SL should continue to fish the way we do.

  14. Ananda-USA Says:

    Japan and Russia also want to buy fish from Sri Lanka (see below), in addition to Russia as communicated by Lorenzo.

    But, will they buy at as good a price as the EU?

    Several foreign countries willing to import fish products from Sri Lanka – Fisheries Minister

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Oct 19, Colombo: After the European Commission proposed to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka, several foreign countries have already expressed their willingness to purchase their fish product requirements from Sri Lanka, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said today.

    Participating in a program at the national radio SLBC the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said representatives of two major fish exporting companies are due to visit Sri Lanka shortly.

    The Japanese Ambassador has expressed willingness to hold discussions on importing fish products from Sri Lanka, and the Chinese ambassador is also scheduled to meet the Minister tomorrow on the matter, Dr. Senaratne added.

    The European Commission last week said it moved to ban the fishery imports from Sri Lanka, the second biggest exporter to the bloc, due to Sri Lanka’s failure to demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing after four years of intense dialogue with the country.

    The Minister said that the European Union has imposed several conditions for the export of Sri Lanka’s fish products and most of these conditions have already been fulfilled.

    He said the European Union has charged Sri Lanka of carrying out fishing activities in the international maritime areas and said that a fine should be paid in that connection. Accordingly Sri Lanka has paid 1.5 million rupees as fines, but the EU has informed that payment is not sufficient.

    The Minister said that Sri Lanka does not need permission from anyone to carryout fishing activities in the international maritime areas.

    The ban will come into force in January 2015 and Sri Lanka has three months to take measures to avoid the ban.

    Fisheries products caught by vessels flagged in Sri Lanka will not be able to enter the EU market after three months’ time if Sri Lanka fails to comply with the EU requirements.

    Sri Lanka is the second biggest exporter of fresh and chilled swordfish and tuna to the EU with euro 74 million of imports in 2013.

  15. Ananda-USA Says:

    Oops .. I meant,

    Japan and China also want to buy fish from Sri Lanka (see below), in addition to Russia as communicated by Lorenzo.

  16. Ananda-USA Says:

    Nimal asked,

    “I wonder if you could turn potatoes in to pure alcohol that could be used drive generators or turn in to ethanol that could be used to fuel vehicles.”

    Yes you could, just as sugar from beet is converted to Ethanol fuel for many years in some countries.

    However, neither potatoes or beet can yield as much alcohol as SUGAR CANE which hands down i the best raw material for ethanol production, by an order of magnitude. That is why Brazil relies exclusively on sugar cane for the ethanol that overwhelmingly fuels their transportation fleet, making them almost immune to fossil fuel market fluctuations. Brazil also produces oil, primarily for export.

    If Sri Lanka wants to produce ethanol from an agricultural crop, sugar cane is the way to go. We have the perfect climate for it, though land is in short supply unlike in Brazil.

  17. Marco Says:

    I’m not sure if Colombopage have got the story correct.
    I’m not sure Japanese & Chinese fishing trawlers found in the Indian Ocean close to the Sri Lankan fishing zones warrants imports from Sri Lanka.
    Russia buying fish from Sri Lanka? You kidding me? Norway is the biggest importer of fish to Russia and will remain so due to its close proximity.

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