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European Commission defends its fisheries
The European Commission stated in a letter to WSRW on 23 June 2010 that their fisheries in Western Sahara is legal. In doing so, the Commission has severely misrepresented a UN legal opinion from 2002. WSRW objects to the EU misuse of the UN document.
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The letter from the European Commission below - which can also be downloaded here - is a reply to a letter from WSRW to the Commission of 27 May 2010.

A reply from WSRW to the European Commission regarding the misuse of the UN document, was sent on 1 July 2010.

See the UN Legal Opinion from 2002 here.

23 June 2010
MARE-B-3/AMF D(2010)

Subject: Fishery Partnership Agreement EU/Morocco

Dear Ms Eyckmans,

Thank you for your letter of 27 May 2010 on the Fishery Partnership Agreement between the EU and Morocco to Commissioner Damanaki, who asked me to reply on her behalf.

Regarding the compliance of the current Agreement with international law, and the legal opinion of the European Parliament mentioned in your letter, we would like to reiterate that in his letter of 2002, Mr. Corell, concluded that (economic) activities in a Non-Self-Governing Territory by an administering Power are illegal “only if conducted in disregard of the needs and interests of the people of that Territory”. This opinion was taken into consideration with negotiating the agreement in 2006.

I would like to confirm that the position of Mr. Landaburu, Head of the European Delegation to Morocco, reflects the position of the European Commission, highlighted above.

Finally, as your question on our views on the report on the impact of the Fishery Partnership Agreement on the Western Sahara, I would like to confirm that the European Commission has not received any such report and therefore cannot comment on it.

In the meantime, the Commission remains of the view that the activities implemented in the framework of the Agreement in the Western Sahara may have a positive effect on the Western Sahara economy, for example through landing of catches, embarkation of local seamen, and use of local ports,

Best regards,


15.10 - 2019 / 15.10 - 2019THIS PAGE IS NO LONGER UPDATED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


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