Source & Author: FIS
The Fisheries Agency confirmed that 15 by-laws under three fishery laws will take effect on 20 January as part of the government’s strategy to get Taiwan removed from a European Union (EU) watch list of countries that have not acted against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
The by-laws were discussed with visiting officials from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to make sure they are adequate, said Huang Hung-yen, the agency’s deputy chief.
The officials urged Taiwan to present an action plan on enforcing the 15 by-laws after they come into force and said the EU will decide whether to remove Taiwan from the watch list based on how the laws are carried out, according to the agency’s Deep Sea Fisheries Division.
The government hopes that Taiwan can get off the list in April or October.
In October 2015, the European Commission gave Taiwan a “yellow card” and warned that the country risks being identified as uncooperative in the fight against “illegal, unreported and unregulated” fishing.
The warning followed a report by Greenpeace that a Taiwanese fishing vessel, the Shuen De Ching No. 888, had been seen illegally harvesting shark fins and throwing the finned sharks back into the water near Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific.
If the issue is not addressed by the end of March 2017, Taiwan will risk trade sanctions by the European Union, Focus Taiwan informed.
Under the new regulations fines will be imposed from TWD 1 million (USD 31,700) to TDW 30 million (approximately USD 949,500) for illegal fishing, depending on the capacity of vessels, and repeat offenders will face higher fines.
In addition to the fines, the operators and fishermen will have their licenses recalled or revoked.