Aquaculture for all

EP Committee Endorses Fisheries Agreement

Sustainability Politics

EU and CAPE VERDE - A legal vacuum in terms of implementation of the fisheries agreement between the European Union and Cape Verde will most likely be avoided after the European Parliament's (EP) Committee on Fisheries (PECH) approved a protocol that updates conditions for access by EU vessels to Cape Verde's waters.

The committee's position is set to be confirmed by a vote in plenary, on 25 October. The agreement, applying provisionally from 1 September 2011, is valid until 31 August 2014.

The new three-year protocol allocates tuna fishing opportunities to 28 tuna seiners (Spain 16, France 12 and Portugal zero), 35 surface longliners (Spain 26, France 0 and Portugal nine) and 11 pole and line vessels (Spain seven, France four and Portugal zero).

This lowers the total number of vessels authorised to fish in the zone from 84 to 74.

Catches may reach an annual total volume of 5,000 tonnes (unchanged from the 2007-2011 agreement). The EU's financial contribution will be 435,000, of which 325,000 for access rights and 110,000 for the development of local fisheries.

The agreement also provides for the issuing of new fishing licences to operators obliged to transfer their activities from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic because of piracy.

The EP committee, which adopted by 17 to one the report drafted by Pat the Cope Gallagher (ALDE, Ireland), is pleased that the agreement includes a clause allowing the EU to suspend payment in case of violation of human rights or democratic principles.

The committee also insists on being kept immediately and fully informed by the European Commission and the Council on implementation and/or any future revision of the protocol.