Taiwan and the EU have established a joint task force to help prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the Fisheries Agency said yesterday.
The decision to set up the joint task force followed Taiwan’s removal on Thursday last week from the EU’s illegal fishery watch list after almost four years, Fisheries Agency Director-General Huang Hung-yen (黃鴻燕) said at a news conference in Taipei after a weekly Cabinet meeting.
“The task force will not only seek to continue the enforcement of existing measures under the government’s four major areas of endeavor, but would also allow both sides to discuss relevant issues and work together toward our shared goals,” Huang said.
The first consultative meeting of the Taiwan-EU task force is to be held at the end of this year at the earliest, he said.
If Taiwan had obtained a “red card” instead of removal from the IUU watch list, its fisheries products would have been banned in the EU, which would have hurt its distant-water fishing industry, he added.
“The loss would have been tremendous,” Huang said, adding that the development of the nation’s distant-water fishing industry is closely intertwined with several other local industries, which together are worth more than NT$100 billion (US$3.22 billion) per year.
The annual output of Taiwan’s distant-water fishing industry is about NT$40 billion, with exports accounting for about NT$28 billion, he said.
Since the EU slapped a “yellow card” on Taiwan in October 2015 over insufficient efforts against IUU fishing, the government has worked to improve the situation through an 11-point action plan that covers four major areas.
The four areas are reform of laws governing distant-water fishing; improvement of oversight through the establishment of a central monitoring, control and surveillance system and other monitoring measures; improvement of the traceability of marine fisheries products; and international collaboration with other nations.
At yesterday’s meeting, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that the lifting of the yellow card does not mean the government can become complacent.
Instead, Taiwan needs to strive harder to move more in line with the international community, he said.
“At the same time, our fishers should continue to abide by international rules and domestic regulations,” Su said. “Only through concerted effort can we combat IUU fishing and ensure sustainable development of our fishing industry.”
Dignitaries from 47 countries yesterday congratulated President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the commencement of her second term and highlighted Taiwan’s achievements in democracy and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent his congratulations a day earlier. As of noon yesterday, 263 high-ranking officials from 47 countries and global organizations had congratulated Tsai via statements, letters, social media posts or recorded footage, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, while releasing a collection of footage sent by selected dignitaries. The governments of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies sent their congratulations, as did the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy,
REASSURING NUMBERS: Taiwan’s test capacity ranks sixth or seventh among 91 nations, and is not low compared with other nations, Chen Shih-chung said The quarantine period for foreigners visiting Taiwan for business would vary based on the COVID-19 situation of the nation or territory that they are coming from, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported the 13th consecutive day of no new cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told reporters at the center’s daily briefing that modified rules covering foreign business visitors had been completed and were ready for him to sign. The complete details of the new rules would be released later this week, he said. Foreigners on long business trips would have
IN PROTEST: The US’ top diplomat said the WHA had been deprived of Taiwan’s scientific expertise, while Tsai said political factors should not be put above health US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday condemned Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly (WHA), while President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday lodged a strong protest against the WHO for not inviting Taiwan. Twenty-two nations voiced support for Taiwan’s bid for participation on the first day of the assembly’s two-day virtual meeting, but despite the global community’s unprecedentedly strong support for Taiwan, it remained blocked from the assembly, with WHO member states on Monday agreeing to delay discussion on Taiwan until later this year. Pompeo, who on May 6 urged WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to invite Taiwan to the WHA,
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced no new cases of COVID-19, adding that a ban on mask exports would be lifted soon under three conditions. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 401 people from among the nation’s 440 confirmed cases have been removed from isolation. Yesterday was the 12th consecutive day that no new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Taiwan, and the 37th day of no new domestic cases. “As our local communities have gradually become safe, we should not become careless,” Chen said. “We should continue to take personal protective measures