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Development rapporteur urges Parliament to thumb down fish deal

The rapporteur of the European Parliament's development committee agrees with the rapporteur of the fisheries committee: Parliament should not accept the one-year extension of the fish deal with Morocco. "The right way to go is not in neglecting international law, principles of environmental sustainability or sound economics", she said.
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Presenting her report in the development committee on 10 October, Swedish MEP Isabella Lövin, who's rapporteur of the committee, strongly urged the Parliament to turn down the proposed one year extension of the Protocol to the EU Morocco fish agreement (FPA).

The draft recommendation stresses the main conclusions of the evaluation report that the European Commission had ordered from an independent consultancy agency. The evaluation showed that the agreement with Morocco is a huge financial loss for the European Union, and is detrimental for the ecology of Western Sahara's ocean waters. All stocks are fully or over exploited, except for sardines in Western Saharan waters, the evaluation reads.

The evaluation report also demonstrates that the sectoral support given under the fish agreement is “a failure”. Under the agreement, an annual 13.5 million euro was earmarked for the development of the local fisheries sector of Morocco. Only 15% of that money has been used. Morocco says that this sum is only 0,2% of the total investments in the fishing sector in Morocco during the 2008-2010 period.

The rapporteur added that it is furthermore “unacceptable that Morocco has totally neglected the European Commission’s questions on the benefits and the wishes of the Saharawi people”.

The UN is clear that economic activities in a territory pending colonisation can only be considered legal if they are in accordance to the wishes and the interests of the people of that territory. So far, nor Morocco, nor the European Commission, have provided any proof that the Saharawi had been consulted on and benefit from the fish deal the EU has signed with occupier Morocco. For this reason, Parliament's legal services called for the immediate suspension or revision of the agreement in 2009.

In 2010, Morocco also refused a delegation of Parliament’s fisheries committee to check up on the implementation of the fish deal. “Such tactics - not answering questions or allowing delegations - should not be awarded”, says Lövin.

French MEP Ponga disagreed with the rapporteur’s analysis. As the one-year extension will expire in February 2011, he sees no reason in rejecting it. “The fish have been caught and sold: we can’t put them back in the water.” Furthermore, Ponga deems it important to support Morocco’s “profound reforms” through approving the agreement. This is in line with the Moroccan government, who has stated that this agreement is mostly an agreement of political nature.



News archive:
01.12 - 20117 Dec: Conference on EU fisheries in European Parliament
24.11 - 2011Parliament committee approves Morocco fisheries deal
07.11 - 2011Two EU Parliament committees reject EU-Morocco Fish Pact
06.11 - 2011Bastagli: Europe turns its back on the Arab Spring's forgotten nation
03.11 - 2011Sharks in danger of extinction in Western Sahara
24.10 - 2011Scottish fishing sector favours illegal fisheries in occupied waters
11.10 - 2011Budget rapporteur calls for rejection of fish pact
10.10 - 2011Development rapporteur urges Parliament to thumb down fish deal
04.10 - 2011Commission criticised over handling of Morocco agreement
24.09 - 2011Fisheries rapporteur recommends end to EU-Morocco fish pact
07.09 - 2011Divisive Fish Pact possibly referred to European Court of Justice
01.09 - 2011MEPs' disappointment with fisheries agreement with Morocco
08.08 - 2011Ireland unsatisfied by Moroccan fish report
13.07 - 2011EU Council and Morocco sign extension illegal fish pact


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