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Two EU Parliament committees reject EU-Morocco Fish Pact

Today, the European Parliament's Development and Budget Committee both adopted an opinion calling on Parliament to reject the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement.
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The Budget Committee deplored the heavy financial yoke of this particular agreement, consuming no less than 25% of the Union's budget line for fisheries. Of all the EU's ongoing bilateral agreements, the accord with Morocco is the least cost-efficient, placing the heaviest relative burden on EU tax payers.

A majority of the budget committee this afternoon agreed to rapporteur François Alfonsi's conclusion:

"The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee of Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to request that Parliament reject the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the fisheries partnership agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco, and expresses its wish that the forthcoming protocol be drafted to include stronger environmental and economic provisions more beneficial to development of all the local populations involved".

Just an hour later, an overwhelming majority of the Development Committee came to the same conclusion. Relying on the European Commission’s external evaluation of the contentious agreement, rapporteur Isabella Lövin reported that the agreement did not have any substantial positive impact on the viability of the fisheries sector from a development perspective. Only 15% of the funds available for sectoral support had been used by Morocco. In addition, EU fishing had only generated 0,04% of jobs in Morocco's fishing sector.

The Development Committee's opinion also laments that the FPA fails entirely at addressing whether the agreement has been concluded in accordance of the wishes of the people of Western Sahara.

Amendments by French MEP Maurice Ponga, Belgian MEP Louis Michel and the Spanish socialists on the committee, seeking Parliament to consent to the EU-Morocco fish deal, were rejected.

“We expect Parliament to follow the recommendations from these committees. We don’t see one single argument why the unethical fisheries should go on. EU institutions have themselves declared the agreement to be ecologically damaging and in violation of international law. Adding that the European Commission's independent evaluation documents that the fish pact with Morocco also constitutes a significant waste of EU tax payers' money, it should be evident that the EU should spend its money elsewhere”, stated Sara Eyckmans, coordinator of the international organisation Western Sahara Resource Watch.

Former legal counsel of the UN, Hans Corell, has stated that the EU fisheries in Western Sahara are in violation of international law. He has often expressed his astonishment on the European Commission's misuse of the report he wrote for the Security Council in 2002 on natural resource exploitation in the Saharawi territory.

In October 2011, the former UN Special Representative to Western Sahara, regretted the EU’s continued fisheries offshore the occupied territory.



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