On Monday, The European Council adopted a decision to remove Belize from the list of ‘non-cooperating third countries’ in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. This decision came after a recommendation by the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE) to remove Belize from this list, in consideration of the concrete measures taken by Belize to rectify the deficiencies pointed out by the European Commission earlier this year. This decision by the EU Council shall enter into force on December 18, 2014, the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
This is the first case where a country is removed from the list of non-cooperating third countries through cooperation and on-going dialogue with the Commission. Since the pre-identification of Belize by the EU, the Commission has provided guidance to Belize in developing its legal framework and implementing the necessary measures to rectify the deficiencies that existed before.
The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon Dean Barrow, has welcomed the decision of the European Council of Ministers to delist Belize, and has pledged to continue the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.