The European Commission has issued a warning (yellow card) to Ghana that it risks being identified as a non-cooperating country in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. This decision, according to the Commission, is based on “various shortcomings in Ghana’s ability to comply with its duties under international law as flag, port, coastal or market State”.

The Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the EU, Virginijus Sinkevičius in the warning statement stated that said: “The Commission stands for zero tolerance for IUU fishing.  Ghana plays an important role in fisheries governance in West Africa. Therefore, we stand ready to work with Ghana to address the threats IUU fishing poses to the sustainability of fish stocks, coastal communities, food security and the profits of those fishermen and – women who follow the rules. Sustainable fisheries is key to better ocean governance.”

The identified shortcomings to warrant this warning by the European Union  “include illegal transhipments at sea of large quantities of undersized juvenile pelagic species between industrial trawl vessels and canoes in Ghanaian waters, deficiencies in the monitoring, control and surveillance of the fleet and a legal framework that is not aligned with the relevant international obligations Ghana has signed up to. The sanctions imposed by Ghana to vessels engaging in or supporting IUU fishing activities are not effective and not an adequate deterrent”.

Ghana in November 2013 received a yellow card, but was  lifted in October 2015, after the country addressed the shortcomings in the fishing industry.

Read details of the warning statement from the European Commission here