Belizean fisheries exports could be facing major difficulties in the European market.
A news report form Panama says that the European Commission is warning of sanctions to be implemented against Belize, Panama, Honduras, and the West African nation of Togo. That's because the commission says those countries are not cooperating in the effort to combat illegal fishing, and.
The European Commission said it is committed to implementing the embargo on imports of seafood products from countries that it calls 'uncooperative' in the effort at combating illegal fishing.
The problem it seems, lies with Belize's high seas fishing fleet, 128 Belize registered vessels. The EU has taken the position that Belize is unable to effectively control or monitor that fleet - and that this country should close it down.
Director of Fisheries in Belize Beverly Wade told us that the issue came to the fore last week when the EU Commission met with fisheries minister Rene Montero.
She says Belize has not been given anything formally - and it has not been provided with any basis for the classification. But, the embargo does not take effect until the end of September - so there are remedial measures that Belize should be able to take before then.
The EU has given a deadline of the end of July for a formal response from the government of Belize.
Domestically not much fisheries products are exported to the EU - but there are shrimp farms that export to that market. And if Belize is blacklisted by that trading block there is the possibility that others could follow.