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News > Trinidad and Tobago

EC Proposes to Veto Imports From Trinidad & Tobago

  • Fishermen in Trinidad and Tobago, 2023.

    Fishermen in Trinidad and Tobago, 2023. | Photo: X/ @CLS_Group

Published 26 September 2023

This Caribbean country has not revised its legal framework to ensure surveillance of illegal fishing.

On Tuesday, the European Commission proposed classifying Trinidad and Tobago as a "non-cooperative country" in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.


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If this proposal is approved, European Union (EU) countries will be required to deny imports of fishery products from the Caribbean nation due to its failure to comply with regulations.

The Commission explained that the "red card" for Trinidad and Tobago, applied under EU regulations, is based on the "lack of progress in addressing the serious deficiencies" that were previously brought to the attention of the Caribbean nation in a notification in April 2016.

In particular, Trinidad and Tobago has not revised its legal framework to ensure "monitoring, control, and surveillance" of illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, nor has it taken the necessary corrective measures to prevent illegal activities related to fishing.

They have also failed to regulate the activities of the national fishing fleet both within and beyond their national jurisdictional waters, as well as the activities of foreign fishing vessels in their national ports.

The European Commission also points out "other persistent deficiencies," such as the lack of adequate control over the national fishing fleet and foreign fleets that call at their ports.

According to Brussels, illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing is "one of the most serious threats to the sustainable exploitation of living aquatic resources" and poses "a grave danger to the marine environment, fish population sustainability, and marine biodiversity."

The Commission estimates that illegal fishing has a global value ranging from 10 to 20 billion euros annually, with an annual capture of between 11 and 26 million metric tons of fish, equivalent to at least 15 percent of global catches.

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