UK government has stated that the European Commission has not forwarded any information relating to consultation with the Saharawi people regarding the EU fisheries in the Saharawi waters. This was stated by Richard Benyon, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Envionment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), on 4 May 2011.
"The European Commission has not presented DEFRA with any information regarding consultation with the Saharawi people on the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement. The Commission has forwarded information which the Moroccan authorities submitted to it on how the EU funds allocated under the Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco have been used. DEFRA is still assessing this information to see how the population of the Western Sahara have benefited".
The statement came as an answer to the following question from parliamentarian Mark Williams (Liberal Democrat), "To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the evidence presented by the European Commission on whether the Saharawi people were consulted on their wishes in relation to the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement."
The UN legal office has concluded that natural resource activity in Western Sahara is in violation of international law if the Saharawi have not been consulted. Download the UN legal opinion here. See its conclusion on the right.
The European Parliament's Legal Services, and the author of the UN Legal Opinion, have stated EU fisheries is illegal, since the wishes of the Saharawi have not been taken into account.
More than 100 UN resolutions, and the International court of justice, state that the Saharawi people has right to self-determination over their land.
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.