FM sends letter to Borrell over Turkish fishing

FM sends letter to Borrell over Turkish fishing

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias has sent a letter to Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell calling for the implementation of the regulation banning imports of fish from Turkey into the EU due to the practice of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by Turkish vessels in Greek territorial waters.

Dendias’ letter was written in response to the recent illegal activity of Turkish fishing boats around the Greek island of Farmakonisi in the eastern Aegean.

Dendias underlined that the incidents of illegal fishing are another means Turkey is deploying to implement its revisionist policy and challenge the status quo in the region. He added, furthermore, that this practice also increases the possibility of an accident which could be instrumentalized by Ankara in order to escalate tensions between Greece and Turkey.

According to diplomatic sources, Dendias stressed the need for the EU to take measures that will impose financial penalties on Ankara if Turkey continues this behavior, and called for the application of the relevant regulation (1005/2008) combating IUU fishing. This stipulates that if a third country does not comply, it is classified as non-cooperating and its fishery products may be banned from the EU market. In this way, Dendias noted, the EU will send a strong message to Ankara and will demonstrate in practice the EU’s solidarity with a member-state which faces challenges to its sovereignty and threats of war on an almost daily basis.

Dendias also referred to the incident on January 5 when a Turkish vessel harassed a Hellenic Coast Guard boat conducting a mission to identify three Turkish fishing boats that were illegally present in Greek territorial waters. 

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