MEPs approve the renewal of the fisheries partnership with Seychelles

MEPs approve the renewal of the fisheries partnership with Seychelles

During its plenary of the 11 November 2020 the European Parliament adopted an opinion on  promoting further EU-Seychelles cooperation for a sustainable fisheries policy and responsible exploitation of Seychelles fisheries. The partnership agreement will ensure continued access for EU vessels in the region.

The EU-Seychelles fisheries agreement, first concluded in 1984 and updated in 1987 and 2006, has been implemented by successive protocols defining the EU’s fishing opportunities and financial contribution. It is one of only two active agreements in the western Indian Ocean region, along with that of Mauritius.

Parliament adopted the renewed protocol to the existing EU fisheries partnership agreement with Seychelles.

The new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership agreement and its six-year protocol have applied provisionally since they were signed on 24 February 2020, following the Commission proposal of 7 January 2020.

The protocol provides tuna fishing opportunities for up to 40 purse seiners from Spain, France and Italy, and eight surface longliners from France, Spain and Portugal,  for a total of 50.000 tonnes of tuna per year.

The EU’s financial contribution is €5.3 million per year. Of this amount, €2.5 million is payment for the right to access Seychelles waters, corresponding to a reference tonnage of 50 000 tonnes of tuna per year. The remaining €2.8 million provides sectoral support for the development of the Seychelles’ fisheries policy.

Members of the European Parliament also adopted an accompanying resolution on the 12 November which calls for the Seychelles fisheries sector to be more involved in implementing the agreement, and for the overfished yellowfin tuna stocks to be restored through regional measures. The EU’s fleet should do all it can to prevent overfishing. In addition, the resolution criticises the persistent practice of provisionally applying international agreements before Parliament gives its consent.

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