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In October, the European Commission of the EU warned Taiwan with a yellow card for illegal fishing and said if the situation did not improve within six months, they would ban Taiwanese fisheries imports.

The Fisheries Agency in Taiwan says that they have drafted regulations for pelagic fishery, which will fine illegal fishing on high seas up to NT$ 10 million (approximately US$ 306,513) in the future.

Apple Daily reports, on December 10, Greenpeace, a non-governmental organization, held a seminar for the reform of the Taiwanese fishing industry. It invited scholars and professionals to discuss the predicament of the fishing industry in Taiwan. They even handed in a petition to the Fisheries Agency, asking the government to amend the Fisheries Law to combat illegal fishing.

Greenpeace says that the European Commission identified Taiwan as one of the uncooperative countries in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. With four months left in the six-month time limit the commission has given Taiwan to make improvements, the Fisheries Agency in Taiwan has not yet had a countermeasure.

If Taiwan has not made improvements before the deadline, the European Commission will warn Taiwan with a red card and prohibit the import of Taiwanese fishery products to European countries. It is estimated that it will lead to NT$ 520 million (approximately US$ 15.9 million) worth of damages.

Thailand, Philippines and Comoros have also received yellow cards in the past. Countries currently in the red card list include Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

KMT legislator Ting Shou-chung says that fisheries management in Taiwan has damaged the country’s international image. Taiwan is in a race against time and must combat illegal fishing with the law.

South Korea, Taiwan’s opponent in the fishing industry, was also warned with yellow cards by the European Commission in 2013, but they amended their fisheries law in time to revoke the warning. Greenpeace says, issues of fishing on the high seas affect every aspect, including not only the economy, but also Taiwan’s international status and diplomacy.

China Times reports, the Overseas Fisheries Development Council of the Republic of China says, though some people have questioned why the European Commission does not dare warn China or Japan with cards, the existing problem in Taiwan cannot be neglected. They say the fine in Fisheries Law for illegal fishing is too low, only ranging from NT$ 30,000 to NT$ 150,000 (approximately US$ 920 to US$ 4,598). The council says Taiwan should increase the fine to NT$ 10 million (approximately US$ 306,513) like South Korea.

The Fisheries Agency in Taiwan says that they have drafted regulations for pelagic fishery and will send it to the Legislative Yuan before April next year. They want to start by increasing the fine to NT$ 10 million (approximately US$ 306,513) based on international standards.

Translated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang