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Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 12:21 AM UTC

EU and Illegal Fishing Boats Flying Panama Flag

Panama Flagged VesselsThe report of the European Commission (EC) is emphatic with Panama. Literally, and with examples, they indicate that Panama is not fulfilling its obligations with flagging ships in regards to the fight against illegal fishing.

This was revealed by the report of the Committee on Fisheries of the organism, published yesterday, which details the failures of eight countries (including Panama) who are warned that they are being considered as uncooperative with illegal fishing.

If Panama does not comply with the requirements in six months, the European Union (EU) threatens to punish the non-cooperative countries, by blocking exports.

The sanctions would include a ban on fish exports and other goods, such as fruits, which would be disastrous for Panama considering that Europe is the second largest market place for its exports.

A visit by the EC to Panama in 2010 concluded that local fishing authorities are unable to collect evidence of the individuals or companies associated with the fishing industry. Nor do they have the power to recover the fines imposed, in cases when the operators of the ships or the real beneficiaries are not based in Panama.

The head of the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama, Giovanni Lauri, said some boats had been classified as IUU, as illegal fishing boats are known internationally, which were presented as Panama flagged vessels, when in fact they were not. But, he did acknowledge that this situation had not been reported to several member countries of the European Union. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: This issue of illegal fishing boats flying the Panama flag has been in the press a couple of times this week.

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