EU imposes first-ever fishing sanctions against 3 countries over failure to fight theft

BRUSSELS – The European Union will no longer import any fish caught by vessels from Cambodia, Belize and Guinea, accusing their governments of failing to co-operate in fighting illegal fishing.

The sanctions, approved Monday by EU fisheries ministers, mark the first time the 28-nation EU has imposed such a punishment.

They mean the EU will not import any fish products caught by boats or ships from the three countries and EU vessels will not be allowed in those countries’ waters.

The EU has been working for years to reduce illegal fishing of fish such as shark and bluefin tuna worldwide, urging foreign governments to improve surveillance and enforcement of illegal catches and ensure that stocks are not permanently depleted.