Council green-lights new fisheries protocol
By Anne Eckstein | Friday 30 November 2012
The EU Council approved, on 28 November, a decision on the signature and provisional application of the new protocol concluded by the European Commission in the framework of the fisheries partnership agreement (FPA) between the European Union and the Republic of Madagascar. It also adopted the regulation that sets fishing opportunities for the next five years in this framework.
The FPA between the EU and Madagascar was concluded in 2007. The protocol to this agreement, which establishes fishing opportunities for EU vessels and the EU’s financial contribution for access rights to Madagascar’s fishing zones, expires on 31 December 2012. The new protocol was initialled on 10 May 2012 and is set to enter into force provisionally on 1 January 2013, until such time as all the related legislative procedures have been completed: the European Parliament still has to issue its opinion (co-decision).
The Council also adopted the regulation that divides up fishing opportunities among the different EU states whose vessels operate in the region. The following will be authorised to fish in the zone: 40 tuna seiners (Spain 21, France 18, Italy one), 34 surface longliners over 100GT (Spain 17, France nine, Portugal five, United Kingdom three) and 22 surface longliners of 100 GT or below (France)
The 2007-2012 protocol established financial compensation of €864,500 per year based on a reference tonnage of 13,300 tonnes per year, with each tonne over that amount charged at €65, as well as €332,500 for development of Madagascar’s fisheries sector. There are no figures for the moment in the Council decision for the coming five years, pending the EP’s opinion.