U-Morocco fisheries agreement renewed

                              From World Fishing

A new agreement has been formed that will enable fishing vessels from 11 EU countries to fish in the waters of the Kingdom of Morocco in return for an annual payment of €30m.

MEPs approved the agreement, which was initially negotiated in 2011 but was rejected by the European Parliament, earlier this week.

Rapporteur Carmen Fraga Estévez, said: "This is an excellent deal for both sides, which fulfils all the conditions requested by the European Parliament in its 2011 resolution, by ensuring both environmental sustainability and a proper return for the EU budget contribution.

“Morocco will have to prove that this money is invested in a way that benefits the Sahrawi population. On the other side, the fishing possibilities for 11 member states will allow 1,500 fishermen, 500 of whom are Moroccan, to go ahead and fish,” she added.

The agreement will apply for four years from its entry into force. The cost to the EU has been reduced compared to that of the previous one (€36.1m) and fishing opportunities have been increased by a third.

The sum to be paid by the 11 EU countries includes €14m earmarked to support the development of the Moroccan fisheries sector.

In addition, an estimated €10m will be paid to the Moroccan state in fees by ship-owners intending to fish under the agreement.

The 11 EU member states with an interest in this agreement are Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Ireland, Poland and the United Kingdom.