EU and the Cook Islands Agree New Partnership on Fisheries

7 December 2016, at 12:00am

EU - The EU and the Cook Islands have agreed on all the elements of their brand-new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement, giving the go ahead to fishing operations for EU vessels.

On 29 November, the first Joint Committee in the framework of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Cook Islands came to a successful end. The parties defined the financial support to be granted by the EU for the development of the Cook Islands’ fisheries sector and discussed fisheries matters to allow for the start of fishing operations.

The new Agreement will allow up to four Union vessels to fish for max 7,000 tonnes of tunas per year and other highly migratory species in the Cook Islands’ fishing area.

In return, the EU will pay the Cook Islands €2.87 million, 1.47 million of which are in exchange for access to the resources, while the rest is specifically earmarked for the local fishing sector.

Over the next four years the Cook Islands will be able to invest these 1.4 million euros on improving the living standard of small-scale fishermen, reinforcing control and surveillance operations, strengthening the food safety authority and sharpening the sustainability of their fisheries policies.

The Joint Committee also reviewed the procedures for issuing fishing authorisations and catch reporting, as well as the boundaries of the fishing area accessible to Union vessels. In addition to the monitoring, control and surveillance measures prescribed by the fisheries agreement and the competent regional fisheries management organisation, Union vessels will implement an electronic observer scheme on board on a voluntary basis.