The European Commission has announced that it has proposed to the EU Council of Ministers that Belize be removed from the list of ‘non-cooperating third countries’ in the international fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Belize was identified as a ‘non-cooperating third country’ in March of 2014, but according to the commission, Belize has since demonstrated that it had addressed its structural problems and showed its real commitment to tackling illegal fishing.
Belize has reformed its legal framework and has adopted a new set of rules for inspection, control and monitoring of vessels. The EU Council of Ministers is expected to meet on the 23 – 24 October, 2014 to consider the recommendations of the European Commission. After the Commission’s recommendation is formally adopted by the Council, all sanctions against Belize will be lifted which means that all fisheries products will again be allowed to be imported in the European Union, and the ban on fishing in the waters of Belize by EU flagged vessels will also be lifted.