Greenpeace Philippines statement on the European Commission’s lifting of the ‘Yellow Card’ sanction on the Philippines
Manila, Philippines— Greenpeace Philippines welcomed the European Commission’s decision to lift the ‘Yellow Card’ sanction on the Philippines , nearly a year since the EC gave an official warning to the Philippine government for its failure to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF).
Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace said:
“As we celebrate Earth Day today, we laud the Philippine government for their cooperation in amending and strengthening the outdated Fisheries Code of 1998, which now has more teeth to curb illegal fishing that has long plagued Philippine seas.
“However, while there has been compliance to improve regulations, with the aim of accessing the important European seafood market, Greenpeace believes that the effectiveness of the revisions would be the actual implementation and eventual elimination of commercial vessels that steal fish from municipal fishermen—the biggest stakeholders.
“Greenpeace therefore challenges the Philippine government to strictly enforce the amended law and recommends that they continue to address and uphold the priority rights of our municipal fishermen whose livelihoods have been affected by decades of rampant illegal and destructive fishing. Further revisions to the Fisheries Code are needed in order to address the shortcomings that affect those that directly depend on the marine resources for their day to day survival.
“Together with our network partners, we will continue to keep a watchful eye on the developments on the revised Fisheries Code as there may still be attempts to water down the implementation mechanisms which could still favor a business-as-usual scenario that would lead us back to where we started – too many fishermen catching fewer and fewer fish.”