The European Union has lifted a so-called “yellow card” it had given Tuvalu over its fisheries management.

The lifting comes following improvements Tuvalu‘s made to fight illegal fishing.

The European Commission said Tuvalu has amended fishing laws, complied with other state obligations and brought in sanctions.

It said it was also updated its fisheries management system and adopted regional conservation measures.

The yellow card was an official warning to EU trading partners in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Tuvalu was issued the yellow card in December 2014, at risk of being considered a “non-cooperating country.”

Fish caught by vessels operating in these countries can‘t be imported into the EU.

The European Commission said it recognised Tuvalu‘s progress in addressing shortcomings in its fisheries governance.

It said the EU had been able to help Tuvalu combat illegal fishing through a range of measures.

According to the European Commission, Tuvalu had amended its fisheries legal framework in line with international law of the sea instruments.

It had complied with flag, port, coastal and market state obligations, and also included a deterrent regime of sanctions.

Furthermore, Tuvalu has updated its fisheries management system on “best scientific advice and precautionary approach practices” and has complied with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission conservation and management measures.

It has also reinforced its monitoring, control and surveillance systems including the reinforcement of patrol capacity and inspections at port, strengthened staff capacity for control, inspection and observation.

As well, Tuvalu is understood to have agreed to cooperate with countries whose vessels operate in Tuvalu‘s waters by granting access to Vessels Day Scheme information.

Vessels Day Scheme was a scheme where vessel owners can purchase and trade days fishing at sea in places subject to the Parties to the Nauru Agreement.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement are Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.