MEPs endorse fisheries agreement with Maputo
By Anne Eckstein | Wednesday 25 April 2012
The European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries (PECH) approved, on 24 April, the new fisheries agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Mozambique, which will run for a period of three years (until 31 December 2014). The agreement will be put to the vote at the 21-24 May plenary, which will bring to a close the EU’s decision making procedure. Approved formally by the Council, on 23 January, the agreement entered into force on 1 January of this year on a provisional basis.
The new protocol gives a right of access to Mozambique’s fishing zones to 75 vessels flying a European Union flag (43 tuna seiners and 32 surface longliners). The EU will pay financial compensation of €2.94 million for the duration of the agreement, ie €980,000 per year divided up between €520,000 per year in compensation for annual reference tonnage of 8,000 tonnes and €460,000 per year to support development of Mozambique’s fisheries sector and maritime policy, particularly in the framework of the ‘Fisheries master plan’ adopted recently by the country, whose actions will aim to ensure the sector’s sustainability and good governance.
Among the new provisions in the protocol and its technical annex is a measure giving Mozambique the opportunity to embark seamen and observers aboard tuna seiners. These vessels may call at the Mozambican ports of their choice for annual targeted inspections. Vessel owners will also make a financial contribution to the development of the national observers programme.