Madrid. The new Fisheries Protocol between Morocco and the European Union (EU) was signed on Wednesday in Rabat by Minister of Agriculture and Maritime Fishing, Aziz Akhannouch, and European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki.
24 July 2013
Both parties have succeeded at the end of the sixth round of talks, held on July 18-19, 2013 in Rabat, to reach an agreement on the general principles of the negotiations, namely sustainable use of resources, the financial contribution on the basis of fishing opportunities to be determined, and reinforced governance, said a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fishing.
Concluded for a period of four years, this Protocol will enter into force upon completion of internal procedures, including approval by the Moroccan and European parliaments. The new protocol provides six categories of fishing with a reduction in fishing opportunities compared to the old protocol allowing access of 126 European vessels against 137 in the previous agreement.
The total annual financial contribution amounts to 40 million euros, including 14 millions dedicated to the implementation of "Halieutis" Plan aimed at improving the sector while ensuring sustainable management and responsible fisheries.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries, the agreement is an important milestone in Moroccan-EU relations. Since the signing of the Moroccan-EU Association agreement in 1996, agriculture and fishing have always occupied a prominent place in the relations between Morocco and the EU.