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EU and Morocco to continue fish talks mid-January

The European Commission and the Moroccan government will continue their talks on a new fisheries agreement on 15 and 16 January in Rabat. Meanwhile the Spanish government insists on sealing the deal as soon as possible.
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The European Union and Morocco will meet again on January 15 and 16 in Rabat, to try to reach an agreement that will allow the EU fleet to return to the waters under control of the Alawite kingdom. The last round of talks in Brussels, on 20 December, ended without consensus.

EU Commissioner for Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, who negotiates the terms of the agreement on behalf of the 27 EU Member States, has not given details on the pace of negotiations.

But Spain's Minister for Fisheries, Miguel Arias Cañete, has insisted the Commissioner to speed up the talks to allow the Spanish fleet to return to "the region". He fails, however, to specify which region he refers to, nor does he say anything on the need to exclude the waters of Western Sahara from the scope of the agreement. This was one of the reasons why the European Parliament rejected the extension of the previous fisheries agreement in December 2011 – prompting the Spanish fleet, the main beneficiary of the fish licenses granted through the agreement, to return home.

Ever since, Spain has been drawing money from the European Fisheries Fund, which allows for financial compensation in case of cessation of fishing activities. Arias Cañete mentions the EU aid received by the Spanish fleet, stating that “aid for cessation can be obtained for a period of 6 months, and is renewable for another 6 months with no more possibilities to extend.” With no more money coming in, Spain’s hunger for a new fish accord seems to have increased.

“The EU and its member states, including Spain, should work within the framework of international peace, and support the UN’s efforts to negotiate a solution to the conflict”, says Javier Garcia Lachica, President of WSRW Spain. “Therefore, any movement of the Spanish Ministry to push for a quick accord without considering the wishes and the interests of the Saharawi people, directly undermines the UN’s peace efforts and lends support to Morocco’s claims over Western Sahara”.


23.10 - 2015 / 23.10 - 2015Morocco continues to discard by-catches in occupied Western Sahara
29.06 - 2015 / 29.06 - 2015Moroccan government accused of fraud with EU anti-driftnet money
02.12 - 2014 / 02.12 - 2014Maria Damanaki opposed continued EU fishing in Western Sahara
18.09 - 2014 / 18.09 - 2014EU-Morocco fish deal: who's shown an interest so far?
18.09 - 2014 / 18.09 - 2014Dutch first to fish under unethical EU-Morocco fish deal
09.08 - 2014 / 09.08 - 2014UN former legal chief slams EU legal view as "preposterous"
21.07 - 2014 / 21.07 - 2014Illegal EU fish agreement with Morocco now ratified by King
14.03 - 2014 / 14.03 - 20149 detained, threats of jail if demonstrating against EU fisheries
11.02 - 2014 / 11.02 - 2014Here are the EU states that will benefit from the dirty fisheries
11.02 - 2014 / 11.02 - 2014Morocco adopts contentious EU-Morocco fish deal
10.12 - 2013 / 10.12 - 2013Occupied Sahara: EU undermining Human Rights on Human Rights Day
08.12 - 2013 / 08.12 - 2013More vids of demonstration and victims of EU/Moroccan plans in Sahara
08.12 - 2013 / 08.12 - 2013Western Sahara president asks UN intervention to stop EU and Morocco
08.12 - 2013 / 08.12 - 2013Many injured in protest against EU/Spain fish plans in Western Sahara
05.12 - 2013 / 05.12 - 2013EU fish plans illegal, 21 jurists and lawyers state
05.12 - 2013 / 05.12 - 2013267 organisations ask European Parliament to reject fish accord
04.12 - 2013 / 04.12 - 2013President of African Parliament calls on EU to respect Sahara rights
02.12 - 2013 / 02.12 - 2013Greenpeace: EU parliament must vote no to Western Sahara fisheries
18.11 - 2013 / 18.11 - 2013European Liberal Youth calls for no EU fishing in occupied Sahara
15.11 - 2013 / 15.11 - 2013YEPP urges exclusion of Western Sahara from EU-Morocco trade deals


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.
عريضة لوقف النهب


يحضر الاتحاد الاوربي لإبرام اتفاق غير اخلاقي جديد للصيد البحري مع المغرب في سنة 2013.

مرة اخرى، يعتزم الاتحاد الاوربي الصيد في المياه الاقليمية للصحراء الغربية المحتلة في خرق سافر للقانون الدولي. وقع هذه العريضة للتنديد بذلك.

"EU fisheries in Western Sahara must be stopped"

Western Sahara human rights activist Aminatou Haidar hopes for increased attention to the EU plundering of occupied Western Sahara.


10.04 - 2012
Guardian: EU taking its over-fishing habits to west African waters?
15.12 - 2011
EU Observer: Morocco expels EU fishing boats
15.12 - 2011
BBC News: Morocco's fish fight: High stakes over Western Sahara
15.12 - 2011
European Voice: MEPs reject EU-Morocco fisheries pact
15.12 - 2011
Reuters: EU lawmakers reject Morocco fisheries pact

Human rights activist Malak Amidane denounces EU fisheries