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Endangered biodiversity, endangered people
On European Maritime Day, Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) demands that the depletion of European fish stocks not be used to justify illegal fisheries practices elsewhere.
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A massively subsidized EU fishing fleet has resulted in hopelessly overfished European seas. Although the European Commission is working towards more sustainable fisheries practices, the increasing emphasis on fishing outside EU waters has brought to the fore concerns about operations under the EU’s significant network of bilateral Fisheries Partnership Agreements (FPA).

A particularly controversial fisheries agreement is the FPA between the EU and the Kingdom of Morocco. Relying on the agreement’s vague territorial definitions, the EU allows its vessels to fish in the waters adjacent to Western Sahara - a territory largely occupied by Morocco since 1975 and labelled by the UN as a Non-Self Governing Territory pending the process of decolonization. With Moroccan stocks largely depleted, the bulk of European fishing under the FPA carried out in Western Saharan waters.  In effect, millions of EU taxpayer’s Euros are paid to Morocco for access to fish that does not belong to Morocco.

For over 35 years, Morocco has illegally exploited Western Sahara’s natural resources against the explicit will of the territory’s indigenous population, the Saharawi people. These gains are poured into furthering Morocco’s brutal and illegal military occupation.

Echoing a legal opinion issued by the UN’s Legal Adviser to the Security Council in 2002, a recently published legal opinion by the European Parliament’s legal services concluded that the EU-Morocco FPA is illegal to the extent that it ignores the wishes and interests of the Saharawi people. However, the Saharawi have never been consulted on any element of the agreement, and their democratically elected and internationally recognised government-in-exile, known as the Frente POLISARIO, has repeatedly informed the European Commission that they do not want nor benefit from the agreement.

Despite the unambiguous legal situation, and the egregious human rights violations perpetrated by Morocco in the occupied territory, the EU Commission continues to turn a blind eye to the illegality of its agreement, and to ignore the protests of the rightful owners of the fisheries resources it is stealing.. In doing so, the EU is implicitly legitimising Morocco’s illegal and untenable claim over its southern neighbour, and undermining the UN’s attempts to find a solution to the last unresolved colonial conflict in Africa.

The European Commission will soon commence negotiations with Morocco to establish terms for the continuation of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement, which is scheduled to end in February 2011. On European Maritime Day, WSRW demands that Western Sahara be explicitly excluded from any follow-up agreement, as required by international law.

So far, 14.000 individuals and 561 organisations have signed WSRW’s petition asking the European Commission to put an end to the EU’s illegal fisheries in Western Sahara. Support the protest by signing up here.



    

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News:

15.10 - 2019 / 15.10 - 2019THIS PAGE IS NO LONGER UPDATED
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






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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

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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.

READ ALSO

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