TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Executive Yuan of Taiwan passed an amendment Sept. 13 proposing stricter regulations for fishing that will see violators given fines of up to NT$2.5 million (US$80,475) for importing illegal fishery products.
The amendment for the Act for Distant Water Fisheries (遠洋漁業條例), pending approval by the Legislative Yuan, was made to demonstrate Taiwan’s determination in combating “illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU)” and to seek Taiwan's removal from the “yellow card” watch list where it has been listed by European Union.
Illegal fishing threatens the sustainability of marine fisheries, jeopardizes the marine ecosystem and biodiversity, causes unfair competition, and affects the livelihoods of fishermen, according to the Council of Agriculture.
The amendment includes restrictions on the import of fish products associated with IUU and revised information concerning those products' categorization, transportation, and related fishing techniques. The authorities may also declare nations or certain fisheries as prohibited barring imports of catches from designated areas.
Perpetrators will be fined between NT$500,000 (US$16,095) and NT$2.5 million (US$80,475). Infringements occurring within a year will incur a fine between NT$750,000 (US$24,143) and NT$3.75 million (US$120,713), according to the Executive Yuan.
An EU delegation will visit Taiwan in September to determine whether the country’s efforts against illegal fishing have made any progress, reports said.