Council green-lights new fisheries protocol
By Anne Eckstein | Tuesday 04 December 2012
The EU Council, meeting in Brussels on 3 December, approved on behalf of the Union the signature and provisional entry into force of the new protocol negotiated under the 2006 fisheries partnership agreement between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. In addition to the protocol, which sets fishing opportunities (quotas) for EU-flagged vessels operating in Mauritania’s waters and the Union’s financial contribution, the Council also adopted the regulation allocating fishing opportunities among member states and types of vessels.
The new protocol was initialled in July 2012. Since the previous protocol expired on 31 July 2012, the Council’s decision provides for its provisional application from the date of signature until all the legal procedures have been completed. The European Parliament also has to vote under the co-decision procedure. That could take time because, on 7 November, the Committee on Fisheries (PECH) expressed concerns over a number of provisions. Rapporteur Gabriel Mato Adrover (EPP, Spain) said that he was “totally opposed” to the agreement and that he would file several amendments (see
As it stands, the protocol sets annual fishing quotas based on catches taken during 2008-2012 according to species, type of vessel and member state, as follows:
- Category 1 - 56 vessels specialised in crustaceans other than spiny lobster and crab: Spain, 4,150 tonnes; Italy, 600 tonnes; Portugal, 250 tonnes
- Category 2 – 11 black hake (non-freezer) trawlers and bottom longliners: Spain, 4,000 tonnes
- Category 3 - nine vessels fishing for demersal species other than black hake with gear other than trawls: Spain, 2,500 tonnes
- Category 4 – crab fishing: Spain, 200 tonnes
- Category 5 – 22 tuna seiners: Spain, 17; France, five
- Category 6 - 22 pole-and-line tuna vessels and surface longliners: Spain, 18; France, four
- Category 7 – 19 pelagic freezer trawlers: Germany, 28,500 tonnes; France, 2,850 tonnes; Latvia, 68,400 tonnes; Lithuania, 71,250 tonnes; Netherlands, 76,950 tonnes; Poland, 28,500 tonnes; United Kingdom, 8,550 tonnes
- Category 8 - two non-freezer pelagic vessels: Ireland, 15,000 tonnes (in case of non-use of quotas, vessels and tonnage may be transferred to category 7).
The new protocol also sets at €70 million per year the financial contribution to be paid by the European Union over the protocol’s two years of validity, of which €67 million for access to fisheries resources and €3 million in development aid for Mauritania’s fisheries sector.