EU-Morocco Deal on Fisheries Sealed

Written by | Monday, December 16th, 2013

After six years of talk rounds between Morocco and the European Union, Brussels agreed to renew its agreement with Morocco on fisheries. The deal is described as landmark since the EU had blocked it before due to the issue of Western Sahara. Based on the four-year deal that both parties reached on December 10, Morocco will open its territorial waters to 126 European fishing vessels in return for an annual payment of 40 million euros. According to the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture, the “fee” paid by the EU will be spent on modernization of the fisheries as well as innovation. The Ministry added that the agreement will favor not only the fishing sectors but the mutual trade relations as such.
Fishing activities of the EU vessels and catches will be monitored and supervised so that the impact of EU fishing on marine resources and fish stock can be measured appropriately. The agreement also calls for so called compulsory unloading in Moroccan ports, which has not be agreed on yet. The EU said that talks on the deal were tough, but the result was worth waiting for. According to Spain’s minister of agriculture, the deal includes also hot-debated areas such as immigration and agriculture itself.
Moroccan side expressed its satisfaction with the deal and appreciated it for its emphasis on environmental sustainability, preservation of marine resources while building a strategic partnership with Brussels at the same time. Analysts also embraced the accord saying that the deal will definitely serve the interest of Morocco and the EU alike. The Council of Ministers of the EU is meeting today (December 15) to adopt the measure.

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