The EU issued Cameroon a "red card" on Thursday for its lack of cooperation in the global campaign against illicit fishing.
In a statement, the European Commission said it had designated Cameroon as a "non-cooperating country," earning it the "red card" moniker, and that it would ask other EU members to put it to the bloc's blacklist.
It said it was due to Cameroon's continued registration of fishing boats operating outside of its seas without adequately policing their operations, including one boat engaged in illegal fishing.
Cameroon could not be allowed to export its fisheries goods to the European Union if they receive a "red card."
However, due to Cameroon's products not meeting EU sanitary regulations, there are currently no such exports.
Additionally, the classification may make it illegal for EU businesses to acquire, collaborate on, or reflag fishing vessels flying the flag of Cameroon.
The proposed classification of Cameroon matched the statement made by EU Fishing Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius that "we have zero tolerance for IUU (illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing."
He declared that the commission was prepared to continue discussing the matter with Cameroon so that it could satisfy the necessary requirements.
The EU considers illicit fishing to be "one of the most significant challenges to the sustainable use of living aquatic resources," according to the commission statement.
Additionally, it claimed, it puts the bloc's shared fisheries strategy and its initiatives to support improved ocean governance in jeopardy.
Since 2013, the commission has given "red cards" for unlawful fishing to six additional nations: Belize, Cambodia, Comoros, Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
In order to remove themselves off the EU's "blacklist," Belize, Guinea, and Sri Lanka have made reforms.