EU official’s comments lauding Chinese effort to limit IUU fishing draw backlash
At a recent meeting between European and Chinese officials, a European fisheries representative complimented China’s ability to crack down on illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities, drawing criticism from other European officials, especially as the bloc has taken action to limit rampant Chinese IUU actions.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, the commissioner for the environment, oceans, and fisheries at the European Commission, “commended China’s outstanding efforts in cracking down on IUU fishing,” saying that the E.U. “hopes to continue working closely with China to promote the sustainable development of global fisheries,” according to a statement issued by China’s agriculture ministry after a meeting between Sinkevičius and Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Vice Minister Ma Youxiang.
Youxiang echoed Sinkevičius’s comments, stating that “the E.U. and China share a consensus view on fisheries and that China hopes to work with the E.U. to make good use of the E.U.-China Blue Partnership, the China-E.U. High-Level Dialogue on Fisheries, and the China-E.U. Working Group on IUU Fishing.”
The two met in Shenzhen for the second meeting of the E.U.-China Blue Partnership Forum for the Oceans. The Chinese ministry credited Sinkevičius as saying that China and the E.U. have made “remarkable strides in exchanging expertise and cooperating under the framework of the High-Level Dialogue on Fisheries and the Working Group on IUU Fishing.”
Asked to provide an example of what Sinkevičius might have meant by “China’s outstanding efforts in cracking down on IUU fishing,” a spokesperson for the E.U. Commission told SeafoodSource that “it is not the Commission’s practice to comment on other people’s and institutions’ comments – or in this case a press release – so we have nothing to say on the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture’s press release.”
Joining Sinkevičius at the Shenzhen event was ...
Photo courtesy of European Commission