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Fairer Fishing?

The Impact on Developing Countries of the European Community Regulation on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fisheries

image of Fairer Fishing?

This Economic Paper considers the likely effects on African, Caribbean and Pacific countries of the European Union’s Directive on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, planned to be implemented from 2010. It will be difficult for developing countries to meet the requirements of the directive at time when many aspects of globalisation are supportive of IUU fishing. The authors argue that even though measures to combat IUU fishing are welcome, developing countries will require comprehensive technical and financial resources to effectively implement this directive, otherwise a disproportionate burden of global efforts to combat IUU fishing will fall on them.

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The Substance of the IUU Regulation

In October 2007, the European Commission released a proposal for a council regulation ‘establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing’. In June 2008, the European Parliament adopted a nonbinding report on the IUU Regulation and several minor amendments to the Commission’s proposal. The amended Regulation was adopted by the Council of the European Union on 29 September 2008 and is scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2010. Upon entry into force, the IUU Regulation will regulate the highly complex multi-channel fisheries supply system of the EC in an effort to improve global fisheries sustainability. Essentially, the IUU Regulation establishes a system of access conditionality in which access to its markets will be partly conditioned by the extent to which the country, area or region of origin of the exported fish product is completely free or increasingly free of IUU fishing.

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