Many in Cameroon’s fish export sector are feeling the pinch of the country being forbidden to sell fish products in European Union countries.
Suspending fish product imports from Cameroon, the EU Commission cited the country’s lack of compliance with regulations against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Cameroon was excluded alongside three other non-EU countries, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Comoros and Cambodia. In its submission, the EU Commission noted that despite persistent warnings, Cameroon continued to register fishing vessels engaged in IUU fishing activities.
It also faulted the country for failing to monitor activities of these vessels, to the detriment of the marine food resources.
Despite the decision, the EU Commission has expressed its desire to reinstate previous import activities.
This, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevičius explained, will depend on government’s readiness “… to address the threats that IUU fishing poses to the sustainable exploitation of the sea.”
“Sustainable fisheries and better ocean governance go hand in hand,” he explained, adding that they are two concepts the EU remains “firmly committed to”.
An estimated 15% of the world’s total fish catch a quantity worth between 10 billion and 20 billion euros each year.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, Cameroon’s primary seafood product exported is shrimp, with an estimated yearly production of 4200 tonnes from industrial and over 1000 tonnes from artisanal fishing.
Poise News Desk