Sri Lanka faces EU fish export ban

Updated 15 October 2014

Sri Lanka faces EU fish export ban

BRUSSELS: The European Union moved to ban Sri Lanka from selling its seafood to the massive EU market in a bid to stop illegal fishing by the second biggest exporter to the bloc.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, meanwhile proposed to scrap a ban on fish from Belize and lifted a threat to bar seafood from Panama, Fiji, Togo and Vanuatu.
“The other side of the coin today is Sri Lanka,” Maria Damanaki, commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries, told reporters.
“We tried to work with them, but they were not cooperative. I can say the contrary happened,” Damanaki said.
“Sri Lanka is now authorizing huge vessels to fish in the Indian Ocean without marine GPS. That means that control is impossible,” she said.
After conducting a four-year investigation and issuing a warning in 2012, the commission said Sri Lanka had failed to make “credible progress” toward fighting illegal fishing, including creating a scheme to punish high-seas violators.
The ban on Sri Lankan products will take effect in mid-January, so as not to interfere with current contracts, the commission said.
The EU last year imported 7,400 tons of products such as fresh and chilled swordfish, tuna and tuna-like species from Sri Lanka worth about 74 million euros ($94 million).
The commission said EU member states will over the next few months also impose bans on fishing in Sri Lankan waters by EU-flagged vessels as well as on joint fishing operations.
Damanaki said Sri Lanka was the second largest exporter to the EU, which is the world’s most valuable fish market.
Belize saw its products banned by the EU in March for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, along with those from Cambodia and Guinea, which remain on the EU blacklist.
Once the European Council confirms Belize’s removal from the blacklist, the commission said, the EU can resume importing fisheries products from the Central American country and EU-flagged ships can return to fish in its waters.
Illegal fishing is estimated to account for 15 percent of world catches, or some 10 billion euros a year, and the decisions by the EU, which imports 65 percent of its seafood, won swift praise from environmental groups.
Saskia Richartz, the EU oceans policy director for Greenpeace, said: “Where diplomatic efforts fail, the EU is right to ban the imports of products from countries like Sri Lanka that fail to manage their fisheries properly.”


Baby Talk: Distraction tips for busy moms with toddlers

Distraction is a great technique for busy moms with toddlers. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 min 4 sec ago

Baby Talk: Distraction tips for busy moms with toddlers

DUBAI: Distraction is a great technique for busy moms with toddlers. Little children are often cranky and get bored easily. This becomes a problem in situations where moms are trying to get things done!

It can also be a good way of keeping children away from dangerous objects and activities. So it’s a great option for managing your child’s behavior in many situations.

Distraction using a favorite toy

We’ve all been there is a shop when suddenly your child sees something they want and will not take no for an answer. It is wise to keep a favorite toy or Teddy bear in your hand bag and bring it out at this point.

Hold the toy up and talk to it.

If you are theatrical and look as if you are listening to the toy, your child may well suddenly get interested. You can now pretend discus your child’s behavior with the toy and listen to Teddy’s answer.

As soon as you sense boredom or a tantrum coming, play their favorite game. (Shutterstock)

Distract by changing the scene

Most parents can see trouble coming. Your child has been an angel all morning but they are starting to show signs of boredom. In this case it may well be time for a trip out. Getting coats and shoes on, and taking a walk to the park or shops may all you need to do, to avoid a tantrum.

Play a game to distract your toddler

Children of all ages love games. As soon as you sense boredom or a tantrum coming, play their favorite game. This could be as simple as hide and seek; with you hiding behind a chair or getting them to hide under the blankets. The trick is to engage their minds with something they understand and gives them attention in a new way.

Learning as a distraction

Learning is a something that children are programmed to do. Even if they never went to school or had any lessons at all your child would learn. Use this inner mechanism to engage your children. Play counting games, get them to repeat nursery rhymes or say a new word. Learning is a natural process and can often turn a potential tantrum into a positive experience.