23 Feb 2015

Vanuatu makes stark warning over IUU fishing

8:20 pm on 23 February 2015

Vanuatu's fisheries minister is calling on Pacific countries to make more effort to end illegal fishing in the region.

David Tosul has told an eco-labelling workshop in Port Vila that the Pacific's struggle with IUU fishing is what has prompted more so called 'yellow cards' from the European Union.

He says Vanuatu got such a card in 2012 which had threatened its export access to the EU.

The minister says Vanuatu has since improved its performance, but now other countries have been admonished by the EU - including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Mr Tosul says the Pacific must work extra hard to tidy up its systems so it can fully benefit from the opportunities presented by eco-labelling.

Yellow fin tuna waiting to be weighed and then off loaded in Avarua on Rarotonga.

Yellow Fin Tuna Photo: Marty Melville / AFP

"This will be the way forward, especially when we talk about marketing. The IUU issue will be one of the issues, if we cannot comply with this issue, countries like PNG, Fiji and other island countries will not be able to export their product to big markets."