16 Nov 2012

EU hopeful Fiji fishing issues will resolved

2:05 pm on 16 November 2012

The acting head of the European Union delegation in Fiji says he thinks concerns about illegal fishing involving Fiji can be resolved within six months.

The European Union, which is the world's largest fish importer, has warned eight developing countries, including Fiji and Vanuatu, they could face penalties unless there is increased co-operation to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Alistair MacDonald says there's is no sign in Fiji of IUU activities being carried out by Fiji fishing vessels.

Rather, he says, the concern is the lack of legislation to control Fiji-flagged vessels operating outside Fiji, while there are also some deficiencies in the country's reporting to international agencies.

"I really want to underline that we are not looking at a smoking gun in the case of Fiji, it is rather that Fiji's legislation has been considered to be inadequate to fully ensure that Fiji would not become in breach of these provisions. The other thing is that we very much hope that it will be possible to resolve all these difficulties through dialogue with Fijian authorities."

Alistair MacDonald of the European Union delegation in Fiji