The statement below was issued on the webpages of EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, 14 December 2011, following the Parliament's rejection of further fisheries in Western Sahara.
Fisheries Protocol with Morocco - Statement by Commissioner Damanaki 14 December 2011
The Commission will fully respect today's vote of the European Parliament.
Tomorrow I am going to propose to the Council that it repeals the provisional application of the Protocol.
We don't know if a new Fisheries Protocol with Morocco is possible. We are going to explore all the possible ways forward.
In any case- as I have already stated on several occasions- if a new fisheries Protocol with Morocco were to be proposed and agreed, it would have to give convincing answers to the key issues of environmental sustainability, economic profitability and international legality.
The vote of the European Parliament sends a strong message to the Moroccan Government that it would need to engage for a better agreement on all these issues.
The EU considers to pay Morocco to fish in occupied Western Sahara. An EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement from 2013 would be both politically controversial and in violation of international law.
The international Fish Elsewhere! campaign demands the EU to avoid such unethical operations, and go fishing somewhere else. No fishing in Western Sahara should take place until the conflict is solved.