Taipei, Oct. 19 (CNA) The top European Union (EU) representative to Taiwan is "cautiously optimistic" that the EU could soon lift the "yellow card" it issued against Taiwan in 2015 for its lack of cooperation in fighting illegal fishing, she said Friday.
The EU placed Taiwan on its watch list for insufficient cooperation in combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in October 2015.
Since then, EU officials have visited the country every six months to see how the issues are being addressed, and the latest week-long inspection trip concluded on Oct. 12.
Asked about the latest inspection, Madeleine Majorenko, head of the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO), told reporters Friday that the inspectors were quite satisfied with what they saw in Taiwan.
"They were very positive about what they have seen in terms of how the Fisheries Agency has taken the steps to improve the situation as regards to the protection of fish stocks," she said.
EU inspectors also underlined the need, however, for Taiwan's government to better protect fishermen's rights, at a time when local and international human rights groups have called for action to prevent abuses of migrant fishermen.
Nonetheless, the issue on whether to lift the yellow card has been taken back to EU headquarters in Brussels for further discussion, she said.
"We have never been in that position before...So this is a positive thing, I am personally cautiously optimistic (over lifting the yellow card in coming months,)" she said.
Asked if the lifting could take place before the end of this year, Majorenko said, "I would think so."
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel