Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New EU FPA Protocols for Mozambique & Guinea Bissau

The European Union has initialled a new Protocol to the fisheries agreement with Guinea Bissau, which maintains the conditions of the present Protocol i.e. fishing possibilities for 4,400 GRT for shrimp trawlers, 4,400 GRT (gross register tonnage) for fin-fish and cephalopod trawlers, 23 tuna seiners and longliners, and 14 pole-and-line vessels. The EU financial counterpart amounts to 4,550,000 EUR for the right to fish and 2,950,000 EUR for the support of the fisheries sector in Guinea Bissau. A new clause was added to allow for the suspension of the protocol if there is a breach of human rights and democratic principles. This fisheries agreement allows vessels mainly from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and France to fish in the Guinea-Bissau waters. The duration of the Protocol is for only one year since negotiations were delayed by the consultations held in 2011 between the EU and Guinea Bissau under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement. The Parties expect to have a new protocol negotiated by March 2012.

The Commission and the Government of Mozambique have initialled a new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement to come into force from I January 2012. The Protocol will provide a reduced reference tonnage of 8,000 tonnes/year of highly migratory species (due to the impact of piracy on EU fleet activities in the region). However, the financial contribution paid by the EU has increased from EUR900,000 to EUR980,000/year, due to a substantial increase in the financial support for implementation of a sustainable fisheries policy. Fishing possibilities will be offered for a total of 75 vessels, comprising 43 purse seine vessels and 32 surface longliners.

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