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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.


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