European Commission classifies Cameroon as “non-cooperating country” in combating illegal fishing

A fishing village in Cameroon

The European Commission has decided to identify Cameroon as a non-cooperating country in the campaign against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, giving it a so-called “red card”.

The commission said that from now onwards, EU member states will refuse the importation of fishery products from Cameroon even when accompanied by catch certificates validated by the national authorities.

The listing of Cameroon is based on the persistence of serious shortcomings that were outlined in a notification adopted in February 2021, which already warned of the possibility to identify Cameroon as a non-cooperating country. In particular, it is based on the failure of Cameroonian authorities to ensure adequate control over the national fishing fleet and to take necessary corrective measures for the cessation and prevention of IUU fishing activities.

The commission added that Cameroon has continued registering fishing vessels that operate outside its waters, including an IUU fishing vessel, while there is a lack of monitoring of their activities.

The commission will continue its dialogue with Cameroonian authorities to help the country address the identified shortcomings.

The commission will also now propose to the Council of the EU to add Cameroon to the list of non-cooperating countries.

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